Russia maintains that the police officers who arrested a Russian diplomat last weekend should be punished, the NRC reports on Friday afternoon, quoting a Russian press release.
‘We continue to wait for further steps,’ the paper quotes the press release as saying. ‘In particular legal steps against the Dutch official who is guilty of breaking international law.’
Earlier, foreign minister Frans Timmermans said any action against the officers is ‘not an option’. ‘We have apologised and that is the end of it,’ the paper quoted the minister as saying.
Prime minister Mark Rutte has also said no-one will face charges in connection with the incident.
‘We see no reason to take action against the officers. If the opportunity arises, I will explain this myself to [Russian president] Putin, but first of all it is up to our ambassadors and diplomats to explain our reasoning,’ the NRC quoted him as saying.
Rutte said he did not expect the row to have an impact on Dutch-Russian relations or the pending visit to Moscow by king Willem-Alexander.
‘This morning junior trade minister Sharon Dijksma [who is in Moscow] sent me a text message from Moscow saying €13m worth of contracts have been signed. So the relationship continues.’
The Dutch ambassador to Moscow, Ron van Dartel, presented the Dutch government’s report on the incident to the Russian authorities on Friday morning.
The diplomat, Dmitri Borodin, was arrested at his home on Sunday by uniformed police officers after neighbours complained about the way he was treating his children. He was released after a couple of hours but claims to have been hit by police during the arrest.