Putin sets deadline for Dutch apology over diplomat arrest

Russian president Vladimir Putin is demanding the Netherlands apologise for the arrest of a Russian diplomat in The Hague last weekend, Nos television said on Tuesday.

Putin reportedly made the comments during an Asian summit in Bali.

Dmitri Borodin was arrested at his home in The Hague on Sunday by ‘people in police uniform’ 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.

‘This is breaking the Vienna treaty,’ Putin is quoted as saying. ‘We want an explanation, an apology and those who are guilty to be punished.’

Russia has given the Netherlands until 16.00 hours to comment. The Dutch foreign ministry told Nos television it will give a formal reaction before then.

The case comes as the Netherlands and Russia are in a standoff over the seizure of Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise which was sailing under the Dutch flag. Its crew of 30, including two Dutch nationals, are being held in jail on piracy charges. The Netherlands has threatened Russia with legal action.

King Willem-Alexander is due to make a formal visit to Moscow in early November.

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