By Mitesh D. Mistry – Diplomat Magazine’s Associate Editor in the United Kingdom
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima arrived in Russia on Friday 8 November for a visit aimed at celebrating the two nations’ historical ties that date back 400 years; a momentous occasion which can be celebrated by the international community. When we look back at the history between the two countries, it becomes clear just how significant and historic the relationship is. Whilst on his tour of Western Europe during the 17th Century, Peter the Great visited The Netherlands and worked with Dutch maritime experts to establish the Russian Navy. This cooperation between Peter the Great and the Dutch signaled the start of a long and prosperous diplomatic and military relationship that continues today. However in-light of recent events in The Hague and in Moscow, many would not have imagined the two statesman’s greeting and welcoming each other – let alone standing in the same room.
With all this tension and diplomatic stress being reported in the media across the world, surely it was not a good idea for King Willem-Alexander and President Putin to meet. The reality is this; the idea of resolving conflict through diplomacy, mediation and discretion is more effective than shifting the blame; and unfortunately some media institutions worldwide fail to acknowledge this. The culture of ‘yellow journalism’ has grown so much that now the idea of having formal and peaceful discussions to ease tensions seems to have been underestimated or forgotten. Therefore it is important for the media to emphasize the positive aspects of diplomacy and in this case, King Willem-Alexander’s visit and President Putin’s warm welcome. It is due to this celebratory visit and the cooperation of both men that the 400 year-old Dutch-Russian relationship will continue to thrive – despite small occurrences that nudge tensions.
At Diplomatic Magazine, our primary aim is to promote diplomacy. We understand that the role of the media is to inform the public of global events. We also feel that though it is important to acknowledge the negative aspects of diplomatic relations, it is more important to celebrate the positive aspects of diplomacy and what it can achieve. The Dutch-Russian relationship has evolved through diplomacy and without it, Russia and The Netherlands would not be the countries that they are today; highly developed, historical and cultural nations who play a vital role in the global arena.
Although we cannot shy away from the recent events that have maybe ‘soured’ the Dutch-Russian relationship and increased tension, at times like this it is important to remember the historic diplomatic ties between the two countries and how, despite two World Wars and the rise and fall of different Government regimes, the relationship continue and grows stronger every year. King Willem-Alexander’s visit and President Putin’s warm welcome towards the Dutch royals is not only a sign that diplomacy is the best method of resolving conflict, it is surely a testament to the 400 year old history that lives on today and rightfully so, is being celebrated in Russia and The Netherlands.
* This is the official position of Diplomat Magazine’s Editor in the United Kingdom, Mitesh D. Mistry.