January 10 - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem-Alexander will each break the international trend and attend next month's Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, it has been announced today.
The pair will be accompanied by the King's wife Queen Máxima and Dutch Sports Minister Edith Schippers, with the King's status as an Honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adding to the significance of his visit.
Rutte made the announcement at his weekly news conference this afternoon where he announced that "the Netherlands will be represented because we are not in favour of a boycott - it is better to be involved in dialogue".
This view is in stark contrast to many of Rutte's international counterparts, however, who have announced their non-attendance in protest of Russia's perceived anti-gay rights laws introduced into the Duma - the Lower House of Parliament - last year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the latest in a lengthy list of leaders who will definitely miss the Games, which also includes German President Joachim Gauck, French leader François Hollande and the leaders of Canada, Belgium, Lithuania, Moldova and Georgia.
Neither United States President Barrack Obama nor vice-president Joe Biden will attend, with the White House delegation to be led instead by three openly gay figures in former tennis player Billie Jean King, ice-hockey star Caitlin Cahow and figure skater Brian Boitano.
Although members of British and German Governments will make the journey, it is also thought that their respective leaders, David Cameron and Angela Merkel, will stay away.
The leaders of Switzerland, Czech Republic and Latvia are among the few that, like Rutte, are thought to be attending when the Games get underway in less than one month.
The announcement also comes at an interesting time in relations between Russia and the Netherlands and this context may have contributed to the decision to attend.
Despite 2013 being supposed to be a year celebrating Netherlands-Russia ties, it was overshadowed by several diplomatic incidents.
In October Onno Elderenbosch, the Dutch deputy head of mission in Russia, was assaulted by unidentified assailants at his home in Moscow days after police in the Netherlands arrested his Russian counterpart.
This followed the events of the previous month when Russian border guards arrested the crew of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, registered in the Netherlands, that activists used for an environmental protest on an oil rig operated by the Russian state gas giant Gazprom in the Arctic Pechora Sea.
The Greenpeace crew, along with many other political prisoners, were released last month as part of a "amnesty" that was introduced by Russian President Vladimir Putin, presumably to reduce international criticism ahead of the Games.
It is also possible that this concession by Putin may be linked to the Dutch delegation's decision to attend.
The delegation is also attending despite calls from various human rights groups in the country to stay away.
But Rutte has insisted his country "has repeatedly voiced concerns about the human rights situation in Russia and will continue to do so".
December 2013: Netanyahu latest leader to avoid Sochi 2014, but Swiss and Czech will attend
December 2013: Lithuanian Prime Minister to attend Sochi 2014 as President stays away in protest at Russian foreign policy
December 2013: British Sports Minister to attend Sochi 2014 as nation adopts "sensible balance" towards protests
December 2013: US Government Sochi 2014 delegation to include openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow
December 2013: French President Hollande and Government officials to miss Sochi 2014