Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte that he urged him not to mix sports, politics and human rights.
No particular difficulties can be observed in Russian-Dutch relations, the Russian president said during the meeting.
"Of course, issues, which always cause disputes, especially in the infrastructure, transport and economy sector, exist. I know that you always pay a lot of attention to humanitarian issues and issues regarding the human rights observation. We are always open for any discussions," Putin said.
The Dutch prime minister thanked Putin for the meeting and said that the Russian-Dutch relations were always characterized by good cooperation. The relations are so good that Russia and the Netherlands are able to discuss difficult issues, which could emerge during bilateral contacts, Rutte said.
It is very important that during repeated meetings in 2013 the parties managed to freely discuss economic and geopolitical issues and issues of sexual minorities among other things, Rutte said.
Putin said due to this that he had recently seen a TV story on a gay club in Sochi, in which one of the regulars urged [the authorities] to let sexual minorities be.
"Sports are sports, the Olympic Games are the Olympics, let's concentrate on this, as the less aggression regarding this issue that exists, the better," Putin quoted the regular as saying.
"I absolutely agree with the assessment of this person," the president said.
Putin said he wished good luck to the Dutch team in the Olympics.
"The Dutch have always been very strong in winter sports, especially skating. I think we will be able to enjoy their performances and I wish them luck," the Russian president said.
Rutte said he offered his best wishes to the Russian athletes. The prime minister said that he wished the Russian team good luck but not too much luck in the sports in which the two countries are competitors.
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