Russia to transfer to Netherlands its archive documents

Representatives of the Russian Embassy in the Netherlands on Wednesday will hand over to the country's National Archives part of the archive documents, which were found in the Soviet Union after the Second World War as trophies.

These documents include the archives of the Dutch Defence Ministry and the documents of the pacifist, religious and cultural organisations, which at the beginning of the 1940s were taken out of occupied Holland to Germany and were kept there in the depositories of the Third Reich. All the documents date back to the nineteenth century and to the 1930s.

For several decades the Netherlands was trying to get back its archives from the Soviet Union. This question was at last decided during the negotiations between Queen Beatrix and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the royal visit to Russia in 2001. At that time the point of returning the archives was included in the programme of joint actions of the governments of Russia and the Netherlands, which was signed during the visit by Queen Beatrix.

At the beginning of 2002 Russia already transferred to the Netherlands 22 archives funds, which contained 1,186 files.

On Wednesday, another nine funds will be returned to the National Archives in The Hague. The total number of the files amounts to nearly 3,000. Several lorries have to be used to bring them to Netherlands.

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