A diplomatic spat between the Netherlands and Russia that started when Russian authorities detained Greenpeace activists operating in Russian waters now includes a pair of diplomat beatings.
Relations between Russia and the Netherlands have taken an odd turn recently. Last month, Russia seized a Greenpeace ship sailing under the Dutch flag. Just over a week ago, a high-level Russian diplomat in The Hague complained that police had beaten him. Then, Tuesday night, a Dutch diplomat of the same rank in Moscow said two men jumped him as he entered his apartment and roughed him up, leaving him bound with tape.
A Russian news Web site that enjoys good connections with the security services showed a photo of a mirror in the apartment on which the men had reportedly drawn a heart with lipstick around the Russian-language equivalent of the letters LGBT. Police said nothing was taken from the apartment.
About 30 Greenpeace activists were arrested late last month allegedly trying to climb an oil platform, charged with piracy, and placed in pre-trial detention. The Netherlands lodged a complaint with a UN tribunal for the sea earlier this month to secure the release of the activists and their boat, which was sailing under the Dutch flag.