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Political contacts

The diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Kingdom of the Netherlands were established on March 24, 1992. The establishment of the diplomatic relations with the Netherlands, relatively small in territory but significant in terms of economic, technological, and transit potential, was one of the elements of the formation of the European vector of foreign policy of sovereign Belarus.

 

On July 6, 1993, the Republic of Belarus opened its Consulate General in The Hague, which on March 20, 1996 was upgraded to the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus. The first Ambassador of Belarus to the Netherlands was H.E. Mr. Vladimir Gerasimovich (February 2001 – September 2008). Since 2008 until 2014 Mrs Elena Gritsenko was Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

On July 2, 2014 H.E. Mr Mikalai Barysevich presented his Letters of Credence to His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander.

Ambassador of the Netherlands in the Republic of Poland H.E. Mr Ron van Dartel is concurrently accredited to the Republic of Belarus since May, 2017. The Office of the Dutch Embassy in Minsk was inaugurated in July 2017 by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus H.E. Mr Vladimir Makei and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Ms Joke Brandt.   

To facilitate bilateral contacts, both sides use the institute of Honorary Consuls. There are three Honorary Consuls of Belarus in the Netherlands residing in Hoogenveen, Amsterdam and Eindhoven. The Honorary Consul in Minsk represents the Dutch interests in Belarus.

On March 24, 2017 the Republic of Belarus and the Kingdom of the Netherlands marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Within the period of 25 years Belarus and the Netherlands managed to form a legal basis for co-operation, establish and promote constructive business contacts, develop mutually beneficial bilateral dialogue in various fields. On the occasion of 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations the Ministers of  Foreign Affairs of Belarus and the Netherlands exchanged congratulation letters.  

The two sides maintain a dialogue both bilaterally and multilaterally on a wide range of issues, including through meetings and visits at various levels. There are regular working contacts of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

In the recent years several meetings between the Foreign Ministers have taken place. In February 2016 during the Munich Conference on Security a meeting between Foreign Minister of Belarus H.E. Mr Vladimir Makei and his Dutch counterpart H.E. Mr Bert Koenders took place. On November 24, 2017 in the course of Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels a meeting between H.E. Mr Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and Mr Halbe Zijlstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands was held. 

In order to promote dialogue between their foreign ministries, Belarus and the Netherlands are actively using the mechanism of inter-ministerial consultations.

Over last seven years, three rounds of inter-ministerial consultations at the level of the directors of regional political departments were held in Minsk (September 2010, June 2013 and August 2015). Inter-ministerial consultations allowed to discuss a wide range of issues of the bilateral agenda, including the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in such priority areas as politics, trade and investment, science and technology, culture, education, and humanitarian cooperation, the prospects for cooperation in international organizations on issues of mutual interest, as well as to exchange views on the tendencies in regional and global development.

In 2014-2017 officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, including the Secretary General of MFA, Ambassador of the Dutch Foreign Ministry on Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Eastern Partnership paid several visits to Belarus and had talks with their colleagues in Belarus Foreign Ministry on the issues of mutual interest.

There are contacts established and maintained with the Dutch parliamentarians, as well as deputies from the Netherlands to the European Parliament, PACE and PA OSCE.

Cooperation between the Dutch and the Belarusian twin-cities Brest and Coevorden plays an important role in the development of bilateral relations. In 2014-2017 a number of mutual visits were carried out including Chairman of the Brest City Executive Committee and Mayor of Coevorden. Economic and cultural exchanges between Brest and Coevorden, as well as cooperation in the exchange of experiences in communal services and tourism development are steadily growing.