This page has been updated due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  

Cultural collaboration with the Russian and Belarus' cultural field

What is the official policy of the Netherlands regarding cultural collaboration with the Russian Federation and Belarus?

The official government position on cultural collaboration with the Russian Federation and Belarus is stated in a letter (in Dutch) by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science dated 9 March 2022.

The letter advises the Dutch cultural and creative sector to continue to support independent, critical organisations and individual thinkers and artists in the Russian Federation and Belarus. At the same time it recommends suspending all formal and institutional cooperation with the governments of the Russian Federation and Belarus, as well as their associated cultural institutions.

How can I collaborate with Russian artists and cultural workers?

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advise the Dutch cultural and creative sector to continue to work with and offer space and / or opportunities to independent, critical individual Russian and Belarusian artists and organisations in the Netherlands, in order to keep connecting through the power of art and culture. It is important and advisable to maintain good contacts with independent journalists and artists inside the Russian Federation and Belarus or based outside of their respective countries.

Please note that The European Union (EU) has imposed a number of sanctions against Russia. Do you have questions about the sanctions and what the consequences are for your company? Read this document about sanctions related to cultural goods. You can also consult the frequently asked questions of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) or get in touch with their advisors.

Support for Ukrainian and Russian artists in the Netherlands
The Dutch government has announced that it will allocate 1 million euros to support Ukrainian and Russian artists that were forced to flee their countries after the Russian attack on Ukraine, and are now living in the Netherlands. The grant can exclusively be applied for by a Dutch legal entity, i.e. a cultural organization or institution. The legal entity applies for the grant on behalf of the artist. Click here for more information.

I need to help someone in the Russian Federation to travel to the Netherlands. What do I need to know?

As all air traffic to and from the European Union has been cancelled, you cannot travel to the EU directly.

Due to a decision of the Russian authorities to declare Dutch consular staff of the Netherlands embassy in Moscow persona non grata, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs had unfortunately no other choice than to temporarily suspend, from April 27th 2022 onwards, the issuance of short-term visas to citizens of the Russian Federation.

An exception will be made for applications on the grounds of compelling humanitarian reasons, MVVs, as well as for applications in cases in which it has been bilaterally agreed upon that they require priority treatment.

Netherlands Worldwide offers you up-to-date practical information about the situation in Russia. The Dutch page of Netherlands Worldwide is updated more frequently than the English version. You can consider using the Dutch site with Google translate for the latest information.

Info point cultural collaboration with Ukraine

We have set up the Info point Dutch cultural cooperation with Ukraine to help Dutch (based) artists and organisations by answering questions and providing information about cultural cooperation with Ukraine.

Russia and the Netherlands
The cultural relations between the Netherlands and Russia have existed for a long time and are traditionally strong. The countries share a common cultural history, and Dutch artists and art professionals have benefited from contact with their counterparts in Russia, which traditionally has an intensive cultural life. The war in Ukraine however brought immense changes to the cultural cooperation of the Netherlands with Russia. While official collaboration with state-related cultural organisations has been stopped, the Dutch government encourages to keep nurturing informal relationships with individual artists and journalists and independent organisation. Read the official position of the Dutch government on cultural collaboration with the Russian Federation and Belarus (in Dutch).

Before the war in Ukraine, Russia offered high-quality art platforms and a large market for international cultural services. Dutch and Russian artists and art professionals benefited from the exchange of expertise. In 2019 Russia was the ninth most visited country by Dutch artists and creatives. An extensive programme to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Peter the Great’s birth was to have taken place in 2022. That programme is now on hold. For an overview of the numerous Dutch cultural activities in Russia in the past years, please scroll down this page to ‘Russia at a glance’.

Partnerships with the embassy
Russia has a long and revered tradition in many cultural fields such as literature, ballet, classical music, architecture, cinema and visual arts, all of which have had a considerable influence on the global culture. The Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow and the Consulate General in Saint Petersburg have built long-lasting partnerships with leading organisations in Russia. In the light of the Russian military invasion in Ukraine, active collaborations or relationships with state-institutions are currently inactive. Read more...

Information & advice
Would you like to receive more information regarding cultural exchange with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine under the current circumstances? Feel free to contact our Russia advisor Tijana Stepanovic with your questions or consult our page.

Further reading


Tijana Stepanovic
Advisor - Central and Eastern Europe
t.stepanovic [at]

Russia at a glance

427 registered activities in 2021
featuring 221 artists

Number of activities
12 months (2021)

Activities by
discipline in 2021


Frequently asked questions

1. Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalisation. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the travel advice for Russia has a huge effect on the funding policies of the national funds. To make sure the selected programme suits your project before starting the application process, we strongly recommend that you contact the fund advisors to discuss your options with them.  

Creative Industries Fund NL 
for Design, Creative Industries, Architecture, Digital Culture
> Internationalization of the Design Sector Grant Scheme

Mondriaan Fund 
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for International Art Presentation to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch(-based) artists or internationally recognized art organizations outside the Netherlands.
> Subsidy for International Art Fair/Art Book Fair to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch and non-Dutch galleries, publishers and non-Dutch art fairs.

Performing Arts Fund 
Performing Arts (theater, dance, music, opera)
> Grants for foreign organisations to invite Dutch(-based) artists
> Internationalisation grants for Dutch(-based) artists

Dutch Film Fund 
for Audiovisual media, film, documentary
The Film Fund has several subsidy schemes to support co-productions and distribution (film & documentary).

Dutch Foundation for Literature
The Dutch Foundation for Literature has several subsidies for internationalisation:
> Translation grants for foreign publishers
> Travel grants

Cultural Participation Fund 
for communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency is not a national fund but also offers on behalf of various ministries and the European Union subsidies for companies in the creative industries.

Prince Claus Fund 
for Culture and Development

Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2021/2022.



2. Where can I find funding within Russia?

Russia does not have a comparable system of art subsidies as The Netherlands. Most cultural institutions are financed by the government. The current advice is to avoid collaboration with state-related art organisations. Independent cultural organisations and NGOs are funded by private donors, business companies, private funds or foreign funds. It is sometimes difficult to oversee the funding background of NGOs. Furthermore, due to regulations Russian organisations have difficulties with accepting financial support from abroad.  

The Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow and the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Saint Petersburg have an extensive network in the local cultural sector and in-depth knowledge of its cultural institutions, organizations and venues. The Embassy or Consulate can advise on opportunities for cooperation. In addition, they can provide grants to Dutch cultural organizations that collaborate with (individual) Russian counterparts.

The Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Saint Petersburg covers Saint Petersburg, the Leningrad region, Archangelsk region, Murmansk region, Pskov region, Novgorod Veliki region, Kaliningrad region, Petrozavodsk, Karelie and the Vologda region. When your cultural activity takes place in one of these regions, you can contact the Consulate-General. When your cultural activity takes place in Moscow or another region that is not mentioned above you can contact the Embassy.

Doing your research beforehand and finding local partners is essential. You can use the DutchCulture Database by simply going to the search option in the upper left corner, and search for ´Russia´ or any city you are interested in. This way you will see which Dutch artists are or were already active in which areas.

DutchCulture also works closely together with On the Move, where you will find an elaborate mapping of funding opportunities. Check the Funding Opportunities for the International Mobility of Artists and Culture Professionals here.

Further funding opportunies

These two funding guides can help you on your way with finding funding in Europe:
Fund-finder, Guide to funding opportunities for arts and culture in Europe, beyond Creative Europe (published by IETM in English)
EU Subsidiewijzer (published by Creative Europe Desk NL in Dutch)

Finally, existing networks can help you further on your way. Look up networks in your field of activity here.

3. What VISA do I need?

Please check the last travel advice to Russia here: Reisadvies Rusland | Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken ( If the advice is orange or red, we advise you to reconsider your trip.  

As an EU citizen, you do need a visa to be able to enter the Russian Federation. There are various visas you can apply for at the Russia visa center in the Netherlands.
For cultural exchange, it is likely that you will need a humanitarian visa or a work visa. However it depends on the situation which kind of visa you will need. You can read everything about the various types of visas, invitation letters and the application process on the website of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands and the website of the Russia visa centre in the Netherlands. Please inform the Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow or the Consulate-General in Saint Petersburg and DutchCulture about your visit, so we can assist you when you encounter problems when applying for your visa.

If you have a passport from outside the EU, it is wise to check the rules with your country´s representatives in the Netherlands, or ask the DutchCulture Mobility Info Point.
Find out exactly what the rules are that a gallery, stage or theatre upholds, before engaging in a cooperation. If you find obstacles on your way, you will have enough time to apply for permits or find other solutions.

Furthermore, you will need a declaration from your Health insurance company, which states that your insurance includes coverage of medical costs in Russia. You can ask for a Health Insurance Statement for Russia at your insurance company.

Disclaimer: The information given above is mainly provided by the Russian authorities. In case of any doubt or further questions, please contact the Russian Embassy in The Hague.

4. Are there specific things to keep into account when it comes down to safety in Russia?

You can check the travel advise of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for the most recent advice on traveling in Russia. As stated in the answer to question 3, you will need a Health Insurance Statement and take the document with you when traveling in Russia.

At the border of Russia, you will be issued a migration card, which you should keep while traveling in Russia. If you stay longer than 7 days in the same city, you will have to register at the city government. If you stay at a hotel or Bed & Breakfast, they will most likely arrange the registration for you. We advise you to check this beforehand with the hotel you will be staying in. When leaving Russia, you will have to return the migration card at the border control.

5. Where can I find information about the consequences of the war in Ukraine on Dutch cultural collaboration with Russia?

Our country advisor, Tijana Stepanovic can help you further by answering questions and providing information about cultural cooperation with Russian organisations and artists. You can ask us about mobility, insurance, financial implications and other related issues in the field of art and culture. Feel free to contact us with your questions and experiences via email: or by telephone on +31 20 616 4225 (on office days from 9.00-17.00).

6. How can I find a residency, venue at which to perform, exhibition space?

Due to the uncertain situation in Russia at the moment, our advice is not to apply for projects or residencies in the Russian Federation where you have to participate physically. Of course, online collaboration can be an option with independent artists and organizations. If you do choose to collaborate, then the DutchCulture Database can show you which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and you can start your research there. Click on the search icon in the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country and city, or scroll down to ‘Russia ata glance’ further down this page. For residencies, DutchCulture’s TransArtists is a great research tool.