Calling the Saturday arrest of Dmitry Borodin "a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention" that protects the immunity of diplomats, Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday demanded a "clarification and apology from Dutch officials, as well as "punishment" for those involved.
Russia issued a note of protest over the incident, but after the two sides talked Tuesday, no apology was immediately forthcoming from the Netherlands, which said it needed more time to investigate the circumstances of the arrest.
Borodin told Russian media outlets police said they were responding to a report from neighbors he was beating his children -- allegations he vehemently denied. The diplomat said he was assaulted by several officers who allegedly struck him in front of his children after bursting into his apartment.
The lack of an immediate apology prompted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich to voice Moscow's outrage at the delay, Russian broadcaster NTV reported.
Calling The Hague's initial response "more than disappointing," Lukashevich said, "The reaction of our Dutch partners was obscure, unfair and not befitting the level of Russian-Dutch relations. An attempt by the Dutch to somehow justify harsh police action cannot stand up to scrutiny.
"In the case of Dmitry Borodin, there have been violations of every conceivable human right. And in response there has been silence. The Russian side continues to expect exhaustive explanations and a real apology from the Dutch side," he added.
Meanwhile, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the Netherlands is willing to issue an apology if the facts of the case call for it, but for now is "conducting a thorough investigation along with police in The Hague. When the investigation is completed, we will be able to make some conclusions."
Borodin, the second-ranking official at the Russian diplomatic mission in The Hague, told NTV uniformed police came to his door claiming they had received reports of child abuse from the neighbors.
"I opened the door -- 'We have a report on you from the neighbors,' they said," Borodin alleged. "They say there have been noises and that you are beating the children. I started to explain that, first, I didn't hit them, and second, who are they to go into a private apartment of a diplomat?
"They began to break in even more strongly. There was a brawl -- four of them against one. My chances were not good. I was knocked to the floor, my head was pressed against it with a foot. One officer was standing above me holding a gun."
The diplomat said he was taken to a police station along with his children, where they were held for several hours before being released when another Russian official arrived.
The incident was just the latest event to strain Russian-Dutch relations.
The Netherlands last month appealed to the international U.N. tribunal bout a Sept. 18 incident in the Pechora Sea, when Greenpeace activists from the vessel Arctic Sunrise -- flying a Dutch flag -- landed on a Russian oil rig to protest drilling in the Arctic.
They were arrested on charges of piracy.
"It is possible that the beating of a diplomat is due to the incident with the Greenpeace activists," Russian political scientist Pavel Svyatenkov told the Moscow daily Kommersant.
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