No action to be taken against Dutch police officers who arrested Russian diplomat
Moscow insists violation of Borodin’s diplomatic immunity must be punished
DDutch prime minister Mark Rutte has definitively ruled out any disciplinary action against police officers who arrested a senior Russian diplomat at his home last weekend. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has definitively ruled out any disciplinary action against police officers who arrested a senior Russian diplomat at his home last weekend, despite Moscow’s insistence that the matter will not be closed until they are punished.
The Dutch government apologised during the week for having violated Dmitri Borodin’s diplomatic immunity when officers entered his apartment in The Hague and handcuffed him, following complaints about his treatment of his two young children. He was released some hours later.
In a carefully worded statement on Wednesday, foreign minister Frans Timmermans said that while he acknowledged Mr Borodin’s diplomatic immunity had been violated and he apologised for it, the police had “acted in accordance with their professional responsibilities”.
That wasn’t enough for Russia’s foreign ministry, which remained adamant yesterday that it expected punitive action to be taken against the officers, and “compensation” to be paid to Mr Borodin’s family.
Unless that happened, “the apology offered by the Netherlands cannot be regarded as the end of the matter”, the ministry warned.
However, action against the officers was emphatically ruled out by Mr Rutte, in his strongest comments so far on the series of rows that began with the arrest of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and worsened mid-week with an attack on a Dutch diplomat in Moscow.
“This is not on the agenda,” the prime minister said. “The facts as set out by the police do not give us any reason to take any further action.”
Despite the tensions, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are to go ahead with a state visit to Russia next month.