Putin Demands Dutch Apology for Diplomat’s Alleged Beating
Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded an apology from the Netherlands on Tuesday after what Moscow says was an attack on a Russian diplomat in The Hague by armed men over the weekend.Russia has lodged a formal diplomatic protest over the incident, in which it said a minister-counselor at its embassy in the Netherlands, Dmitry Borodin, was badly beaten in his home in front of his children by the unidentified assailants.
“We are awaiting an explanation, an apology and also punishment of those responsible,” Putin said at a news conference after an Asia-Pacific summit in Indonesia, calling the incident a “very rude violation” of diplomatic rules.”Depending on how the Dutch side conducts itself, we will react,” Putin said.
The Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the government would apologize to Moscow if a police investigation found Borodin’s right to diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention had been violated.Earlier, a Dutch police spokeswoman in The Hague, Ellen van Zijl, confirmed there had been an incident involving a Russian diplomat, adding: “This man is fine. He is not in the hospital.”
Dutch news agency ANP said police had visited the home of Borodin, who is number two at the embassy, after receiving a complaint from neighbors about his treatment of his children.A spokeswoman for the Russian embassy in The Hague, Sofia Sarenkova, said she believed such a complaint was “one of the pretexts” for the incident.The national Dutch child protection agency and social services in The Hague have not received any reports relating to the incident, officials said. (Reuters)