The Netherlands cancels energy trade mission to Russia
The Dutch government has cancelled an energy sector trade mission to Russia which should have taken place in May.
The mission, under the leadership of economic affairs minister Henk Kamp, has been delayed because of the latest developments in eastern Ukraine, the ministry said in a statement.
"A successful mission in the current climate is not very likely," foreign minister Frans Timmermans said.
"That is why it is better to delay the mission."
The delay should not be seen as a sanction against Russia, he said.
"Sanctions are a last resort and I want to do all I can to prevent us having to impose sanctions," Timmermans said.
Timmermans said the trip will definitely take place at a later date.
The aim of the mission is to increase contacts with Russian gas companies.
The Netherlands wants to become the leading western European gas hub and has massive gas fields of its own in Groningen province.