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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Ambassador Cleared of Wrongdoing

The Dutch government says an inquiry has cleared its ambassador to Moscow of any wrongdoing with regard to remarks he is said to have made against NATO's eastward expansion plans, and he will remain in his post. The inquiry was triggered by Dutch press reports that Ambassador Baron Godert W. de Vos van Steenwijk continued to lobby against NATO's plans even after they were endorsed by the Dutch government and that he expressed his views to Russian officials. A statement Friday from the Dutch Embassy in Moscow quoted Dutch Foreign Minister Hans Van Mierlo as saying he ""did not see any obstacle to the continuation of the functioning of Ambassador de Vos van Steenwijk in Moscow."" The decision was made after an internal investigation commission reported to the minister on its findings, the statement said. The Netherlands is one of 16 current NATO members. The alliance intends to invite three former Soviet-bloc countries -- Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary -- to join soon, a plan Moscow strongly opposes.

Sad-Sam Keeps Cold War Party Alive

If there is one Cold War legacy that Moscow's foreign community refuses to forsake, it is the 20-year-old tradition known as the Sad-Sam Summer Solstice Party. A relatively straightforward bash today, it nevertheless evokes memories of times when these noisy, all-night parties amounted to celebratory defiance of restrictions and harassment resident foreigners often endured under the Soviet government. Sad-Sam is the nickname for Moscow's oldest foreign press compound, at 12/24 Sadovo-Samotechnaya Ulitsa on the Garden Ring. Though the summer solstice is a week away and some old-timers doubt the exact year the first party was held, more than 300 journalists, diplomats and their invited guests will gather Saturday in the building's cramped, high-walled courtyard for the 20th annual night of barbecue, beverages, dance and social networking.

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