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Dutch king visits Russia as relations between 2 nations turn sour

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    Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima walk to a car after their arrival to Vnukovo II airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) (The Associated Press)

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    Dutch King Willem-Alexander, left, and Queen Maxima, right, review honor guards shortly after their arrival to Vnukovo II airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) (The Associated Press)

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    Dutch King Willem-Alexander leaves a plane shortly upon his arrival to Vnukovo II airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) (The Associated Press)

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima have arrived in Russia on a visit that comes amid heightened tensions between the two nations.

The royal visit that began Friday wraps up a year of events intended to encourage closer economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

But their relations have soured over several issues, including Russia's seizure of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship and arrest of all 30 people on board.

The Netherlands has asked an international tribunal for the release of the Arctic Sunrise and its crew.

The 28 Greenpeace activists, a Russian photographer and a British videographer have been in custody since the ship was seized by the Russian coast guard after a protest near a Gazprom-owned Arctic Circle oil rig on Sept. 18.