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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

06/04/1997

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Dutch Ambassador Probed in NATO Controversy

The Dutch government was holding an inquiry Tuesday into allegations that its ambassador in Moscow continued to express his personal opposition to NATO's eastward expansion, even after Holland had made its decision to support the policy. A spokesman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry said this week that an inquiry was being held into the allegations against Baron Godert W. de Vos van Steenwijk. He said, however, that Steenwijk was still at his post in Moscow and a decision would be made as to the ambassador's status by the end of the week. The controversy was triggered by articles in the Dutch press last week alleging that -- well beyond late April when the government and parliament gave their final backing to NATO expansion -- van Steenwijk had continued to lobby in Holland against the policy and was also expressing his views to Russian officials. Holland was one of 16 NATO member countries that last week signed a Founding Act on NATO's new relations with Russia, paving the way for NATO expansion.

U.S. Pick For Envoy Is Expert On Russia

Vacant for six months, Spaso House -- the American ambassador's elegant mansion off Arbat Street -- may soon get a new tenant. James Franklin Collins, nominated last week by U.S. President Bill Clinton as the next ambassador to Russia, is a career diplomat and veteran Russia specialist who has been a close associate of Undersecretary of State Strobe Talbott, a chief architect of U.S.-Russia policy. Since 1995, Collins has served as ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states, or former Soviet republics. In that post, he succeeded Talbott, who has advocated a policy of cooperation and aid for Russia that is sometimes seen as too pro-Russian by some U.S. conservatives. Before that, Collins spent two years as senior coordinator on Talbott's staff. From 1990 to 1993, Collins served as deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

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