Moscow has again proposed that a commission be set up to resolve family disputes involving Finland and Russia. Russian officials in Geneva suggested that such a panel could consider international divorce and child custody disputes.
Pasi Tuominen, director of the Finnish Foreign Ministry's Consular Assistance Unit, told Yle that such a body is unnecessary, since Finland handles such matters according to international treaties.
Moscow "expects constructive attitude"
"The question of violations of children's rights in family conflicts is on the Russian-Finnish bilateral agenda," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. "We continue to try and convince Finnish partners of the need to set up a Russian-Finnish commission for considering disputes and conflicts in international divorces and in the choice of the place of residence of children, as well as in the participation of parents in the upbringing of their children and ways to enable the children to know their native language."
He noted that Moscow agreed with France last autumn to set up such a bilateral body.
"We expect a constructive attitude from Helsinki on these issues," added Lukashevich.
Moscow last brought up the idea ahead of a visit to Finland by President Dmitry Medvedev in mid-2010.
That spring, Russia's ombudsman for children Pavel Astakhov met with Finnish Ambassador Matti Anttonen on the issue. That followed an incident the previous year when a five-year-old boy was smuggled back to Finland by his father with help from a Finnish consular official.
Latest in: News
The U.S. snatches bronze from Finland
Finland’s men’s ice hockey team lost the World Championship bronze match to the U.S. in a thriller that went into overtime and a shootout.
Son drowns, father missing after fishing trip
A son and father went fishing on Näsijärvi Lake in the Pirkanmaa region on Friday. The son was later found drowned, while the father is still missing.
Finland to toughen rape legislation
At present, Finnish legislation on rape is more lenient than in neighbouring countries such as Sweden and Norway.
Gaming industry draws foreign talent to Helsinki region
Turning to the electronic gaming industry, more and more foreign companies are interested in setting up branch offices in Helsinki. Finnish firms also employ many foreigners, with about one-third of workers at major gaming companies from abroad.
Unknown soldiers laid to rest on Memorial Day
As this is also Whit Sunday or Pentecost, many shops are closed.
Soini and SDP contest workers’ support
The Social Democratic Party’s recent ministerial changes, which tipped the gender balance and created a female-majority cabinet, brought strong criticism from Finns party leader Timo Soini. He claimed the party had abandoned working-class men. Soini's comments provoked a strong response from the SDP.
Finnish Eurovision contestant: Kiss may have cost points
The ESC title remains in the Nordic region, but the Finnish entrant failed to attract much support.
Siegfrids hopes for Eurovision success
The Danish pre-contest favourite believes that this could be Scandinavia’s year, while Finnish contestant Krista Siegfrids promises to celebrate whether she wins or not.
Lions’ golden dream dies in Stockholm
Finland’s men's ice hockey team lost 3-0 in their World Championship semi-final against arch-rivals Sweden on Saturday in Stockholm. The Lions will play in the bronze medal match on Sunday.
Summery, thundery conditions continue over the weekend
Summer has finally arrived in Finland, with warmer than average temperatures and some lively bursts of thunder expected. That means the south and east of Finland are set for warm weather—and rain—this weekend.