At least hundreds of Dutch people are still in Russia today. They live and work there. A foreign affairs spokesman told De Telegraaf that fewer than three hundred people had registered at the Dutch embassy in Moscow.
“We just adjusted our travel advice again, because the odds of withdrawing money and booking a flight to the Netherlands are lower,” the spokesperson said. Code orange now applies to most of Russia: travel to Russia only when absolutely necessary.
Minister Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) advised the Dutch in Russia to leave the country. “Leave if you don’t have a compelling reason to stay there,” he said earlier this week. After the invasion of Ukraine, Russia was hit hard by Western sanctions. For example, the propulsion system has been partially paralyzed and Russian aircraft are no longer allowed to fly over Europe.
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Last Tuesday, 370 Dutch nationals in Russia attended a digital meeting with the Dutch ambassador to Moscow, Gilles Belge. He called on the Dutch to “consider whether their stay in Russia is really necessary and make a wise decision in time.” “It is uncertain what will happen next, there may be more sanctions that limit day-to-day work,” said Plug. “And remember, your debit cards may not be accepted. So make sure you have as much cash as possible in euros or dollars and rubles.”
The ambassador insists that the Netherlands will not evacuate people if the situation in Russia gets out of hand. According to him, it is still possible to travel to Europe by car via Finland, Latvia or Estonia. It is also possible to travel to Europe via countries that have not closed their airspace, such as Turkey. Delivery: „But consider big detour, more expensive tickets and longer travel time. And that the situation can change quickly, so that there may be few possibilities to leave the country at a later time.”
The Embassy may soon organize another digital session for relevant Dutch people in the country. “It will then be for Dutch business people,” the spokesperson said. “We note that they also have many questions about how to proceed.”
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