Dutch Royals Pelted With Tomatoes in Russia Over Bolshevik Death

Image: Dutch Royals Pelted With Tomatoes in Russia Over Bolshevik Death King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Nov. 8.

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 10:26 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Dutch royals King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were pelted with tomatoes as they arrived at a concert in Russia Saturday.

Russia's state security agency told The Associated Press that the thrown tomatoes missed the couple.

The Russia-banned National Bolshevik party took responsibility for the incident, telling the AP that it wanted to bring attention to the Netherlands' alleged failure to fully investigate the death of Alexander Dolmatov.

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Dolmatov, a National Bolshevik party member, committed suicide in January at a Dutch deportation center, according to the AP.

Britain's Independent reported that Dolmatov was arrested and later released in May 2012 after he took part in a protest against Russian president Vladimir Putin. Dolmatov fled Russian for The Netherlands, per the Independent.

The Independent reported that Dolmatov's request for political asylum was rejected and placed at the Dutch deportation center where officials said he committed suicide.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima had met with Putin the day before the tomato-throwing incident.

The Independent noted that tensions have been rising recently between the two countries with long historical ties, including an unresolved issue of Russia’s seizure of a Dutch-registered Greenpeace ship which was protesting against Arctic drilling at a Gazprom oil rig.

Reuters reported that Russia arrested 30 people in the Greenpeace protest Sept. 18 where activists tried to scale Moscow's offshore oil rig in the Arctic. Russian officials called it "gross violation" of the country's law.

Russian officials criticized the Dutch Friday for "inaction" in not preventing the protest against Russia, per Reuters. The criticism came the same day Dutch's royal couple met with Putin, according to Reuters.

"The whole situation, to a large extent, is caused by inaction of the Dutch state ... when it was clear the vessel entered the Russian economic zone on purpose to knowingly carry out unlawful actions," Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said, according to Reuters.

The countries were already at odds because of Russia's treatment of gays and its law that prohibits spreading "homosexual propaganda" among children, according to Reuters.

Putin said he hoped the meeting with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima Putin could help ease tensions between the two nations.

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