A senior Dutch diplomat in Moscow has been beaten up at his home by attackers who scrawled the letters ‘LGBT’ in lipstick on a mirror.

Tensions have been high between Russia and the Netherlands, following a spate of incidents: Greenpeace activists were arrested by Russian authorities while in international waters on a Dutch registered vessel; and Dutch police illegally arrested a Russian diplomat in the Hague following allegations of child abuse, for which they later apologised.

Lifenews.ru said that the intruders to Onno Elderenbosch’s flat in central Moscow had told him there was no light on his floor and asked if they could check the electricity in his apartment.

‘When the diplomat opened the door, he was hit in the back and he fell, hitting his head on the floor,’ the website quoted a security source as saying. ‘The intruders then bound him and turned the apartment upside down.’

The 60-year-old diplomat, who is deputy head of the Netherlands mission in Moscow, was not badly harmed and did not seek medical attention.