Attack on Dutch diplomat in Moscow home ‘serious’, says minister,

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has described the attack on a senior Dutch diplomat in Moscow as ‘serious’ and will have contact with his Russian counterpart later on Wednesday.

‘I want to know exactly what happened and what Russia is doing to find the culprits,’ Timmermans is quoted as saying by Nos television.

The minister will update parliament on the situation at the end of the afternoon or early evening, Timmermans said. MPs are due to debate the incident on Thursday after which ‘conclusions can be drawn about, for example, king Willem-Alexander’s trip to Russia’, Nos said.

The visit, to close a year-long celebration to mark 400 years of Dutch-Russian diplomatic relations, is due to take place on November 9.


Russia has already said it regrets the attack on the Dutch embassy’s number two, Onno Elderenbosch. He was beaten at his home in Moscow by two men who forced their way into his house.

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.

The Hague

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 coastguards seized a Greenpeace ship flying the Dutch flag which was involved in protests in Russia’s Arctic waters. The crew of 30, including two Dutch nationals, face piracy charges.

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