Dutch diplomat attacked at home in Moscow

A Dutch diplomat has been attacked at his home in Moscow by two men who forced their way into his house, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry has confirmed.

The victim is thought to be the embassy’s number two Onno Elderenbosch, Nos television said.

The victim was slightly wounded and alerted the police himself. Russian media reports state the men drew a heart on a mirror with lipstick and the letters LGBT, which represents the words lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, Nos said.

According to RTL news, the men burst in after claiming to be electricians, knocked the diplomat to the ground and tied him up. Dutch activists have been highly criticial of anti-gay laws in Russia.

Ambassador

Foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has summonded the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands for an explanation. ‘Our people have to be able to do their jobs in safety and I want assurances that the Russian authorities will be responsible on this point,’ the minister said on Facebook.

The case comes 10 days after a Russian diplomat in The Hague was arrested after neighbours reported he was abusing his children. The Netherlands has since apologised for the action.

Prior to that, Russian coastguard had seized a Greenpeace ship flying the Dutch flag which was involved in protests in Russia's Artic waters. The crew of 30, including two Dutch nationals, face piracy charges.

Celebrations

MPs from D66 and the Labour party used the Twitter microblogging service to call for celebrations marking 400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Russia to be suspended

‘It it was up to me, the Netherlands-Russia year is ‘on hold’,’ said Labour parliamentarian Michiel Servaes. ‘First clarity and guarantees for the safety of Dutch diplomats.’

King Willem-Alexander is due in Moscow for a state visit on November 9 to wind up the year-long event.