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Putin Arrives In Amsterdam, Faces Gay Rights Protests

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam on April 8.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Amsterdam from Germany, where he held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Speaking earlier at a joint news conference with Merkel in Hannover, Putin defended a recent wave of investigations into Russia's nongovernmental organizations.

The Russian president said his country has a right to monitor the funding received by its NGOs from abroad.

He said NGOs in Russia have received almost $1 billion in the first months of this year.

In Amsterdam, Putin faces a planned major protest against Russia's gay rights policies.

In January, Russian lawmakers approved a bill that makes gay public events and the dissemination of information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000.

It still requires final approval by parliament.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Interfax