According to foreign minister Stef Blok, the relationship with Russia has remained "complex" over the past five years. He wrote to the House of Representatives that the government will now again opt for a combination of "pressure and selective cooperation" as a Russian policy.
According to Blok, Russia has continued to look up the confrontation between "Western powers" in recent years.
"That leads to concerns about security in many European countries, including the Netherlands. There are also concerns about the violation of human rights in Russia." As an example, Blok mentions the cyber operation against last year's OPCW regulator, based in The Hague, and also the attack on the life of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
"We cannot be naive about our security and we must stand up for our values. That is why we invest in Dutch defense and in our cyber security and let ourselves be heard when human rights are under pressure."
Blok writes that he wants to stay in touch with the country, because there are still shared interests. "We share interests in combating terrorism, organized crime and proliferation of nuclear weapons, but also combating climate change."