A senior Dutch diplomat at the Netherlands embassy in Moscow has been attacked at his home in the Russian capital by unknown assailants who scrawled the letters “LGBT” on a mirror.

The diplomat, named by Russian media as Onno Elderenbosch, was reportedly tied up by men posing as electricians.

Mr Elderenbosch was not badly harmed and did not seek medical attention.

Russian media report that Mr Elderenbosch was tied up and beaten, and that the attackers daubed a heart on a mirror in lipstick with the letters “LGBT”.

The incident comes amid growing tensions between Russia and the Netherlands over the arrest by the Russian authorities of the 30 crew of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship campaigning against oil drilling in the Arctic.

The motive for the attack is not clear – although referencing the LGBT community suggests the suspects were trying to make a political point.

In stark contrast to Russia, where LGBT rights have been on the decline in recent years, the Netherlands is one of the world’s progressive countries when it comes to LGBT equality.

On 1 April 2001 it became the first country in the world to legalise equal marriage. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1811.