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Russia urges Netherlands to take measures to investigate incidents with Russian diplomats

October 18, 2013, 11:54 UTC+3
The break-in is the latest incident potentially marring bilateral relations between Russia and the Netherlands
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MOSCOW, October 18 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry hopes that the Dutch authorities will take all measures to investigate the incident involved Russian diplomats in The Hague.

“The Dutch Foreign Ministry on behalf of Minister Frans Timmermans expressed regret about what had happened,” the ministry said, adding that the Dutch authorities would take exhaustive measures to find those who are guilty of the crime.”

Press service of the Dutch police said the authorities cannot confirm whether break-ins into homes of employees of the Russian embassy in The Hague were vandalism or burglary.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Frans Timmermans has expressed his regret of over the incident, according to the Minsitry’s press service.

The Dutch police is investigating the break-in, the service said; Russian law enforcements are also involved in the process.

The break-in was committed in Banstraat Street in The Hague. This building does not have the diplomatic status. The flats in the residential house are rented for employees of the embassy.

This is the third incident related to the inviolability of diplomats of both countries.

The first incident occurred almost two weeks ago, on October 6. At night Russian counsellor-minister Dmitry Borodin was beaten by Dutch police in his apartment in The Hague after the diplomat was arrested due to cruelty to children. The Russian Foreign Ministry sent a note to the Netherlands. On October 9, the Netherlands apologised and recognised that the arrest and the detention in custody of the Russian counsellor-minister, who had diplomatic inviolability, had violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Later the Dutch ambassador to Russia gave Russia a report on the police’s actions.

At the same time, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said policemen, who were involved in the incident, would not be punished. “Policemen acted professionally in response to situation that they’d informed on,” Timmermans said.

Nine days after, October 16, counsellor-minister of the Dutch Embassy in Moscow Onno Elderenbosch, 60, was beaten in his home. Russia has started the investigation of the incident and the Netherlands waits for the results.

The Russian Investigative Committee instituted criminal proceedings upon illegal invasion of an apartment of a Dutch citizen. On Tuesday evening, October 15, unidentified persons pushed a foreigner into his apartment of one of the houses in Moscow’s Povarskaya Street, floored a man, trussed him up with a scotch, littered the apartment and disappeared.

Two men under the guise of electrical specialists penetrated into his house and beat him. On October 16, the Dutch Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands Roman Kolodkin to clarify the incident. On the same day Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a telephone conversation with his Dutch colleague to inform him about the investigation of the attack on the diplomat.

On Thursday, October 17, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the incidents involving Russian and Dutch diplomats would not hamper relations between both countries.

“Such incidents occur rather often,” the diplomat said. “Totally, our political dialogue with the Netherlands is very high. We hope that despite the temporary difficulties the dialogue will be intensified. We’ll able to take the decisions, which don’t allow us to hamper political and economic relations,” he said.

Russia “exposed its position. As for the latest case, Russia expressed its sincere regret”, Lukashevich said, adding, “The Netherlands’ reaction to the incident in Moscow is rather adequate.”

However, the Dutch foreign minister came against cancelling the events timed to the Bilateral Year and the visit to Russia by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. “It is necessary to avoid hasty and short-sighted diplomatic steps,” the Dutch minister said.

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