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Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 10:32:26 PM
Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 10:33:17 PM
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The Dutch foreign minister apologised to Moscow on Wednesday for the detention of a Russian diplomat in The Hague, saying his right to diplomatic immunity had been violated.
Russian Embassy officials said Dutch police entered the diplomat's home, beat him with a baton and illegally detained him for several hours last weekend. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a Dutch apology for the incident.
It occurred at a time when Moscow and The Hague are already at odds over the detention in Russia of Greenpeace activists, including two Dutch citizens.
Based on information provided by the police, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans "concluded that the detention and arrest of a Russian diplomat, who is guaranteed full diplomatic immunity, violated" international law.
"For this, the Netherlands apologises to Russia," a ministry statement said. Timmermans said however that he "personally understands" the actions of the police officers involved.
Dutch child protection services said earlier they were investigating a complaint from neighbours of diplomat Dmitry Borodin about his treatment of his children. The Russian Embassy said the complaint was "one of the pretexts" for the incident.
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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