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Lavrov blasts Finland over child custody case

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has harshly criticised Finland over the child custody case in Vantaa, where four children were taken into foster care from a Russian mother. Lavrov also restated Russia’s wish for a joint Finnish-Russian commission to deal with disputed custody cases.

Lavrov in Helsinki with Tuomioja.
Lavrov in Helsinki with Erkki Tuomioja at an earlier date. Image: Yle

On Monday, Lavrov stated that Russia was worried about Finland’s attitude towards Russian children.

The Foreign Minister spoke about the issue to a correspondent of news agency STT at a Moscow meeting of the Association of European Business. Lavrov’s statements quickly spread across Russian media.

In a scathing comment, Lavrov said he did not know how much of a violation of the principles of a civilised state it was to take a baby from her mother.

The Foreign Minister said he had discussed the matter with diplomats and the Finnish President.

Renewed calls for a joint commission

Once again, Lavrov called for the establishment a joint commission for solving custody cases.  

Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs sees that such disputes can be resolved by resorting to international treaties already in effect, and has rejected the idea of a commission.

Last week Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksander Lukashevich said in an Yle interview that without a joint commission the number of disputed custody cases could increase, also impacting the countries’ relations.

Finland has sent a list of Finnish specialists to Russia, whom Russian officials can contact in the case of new custody disputes. According to Lukashevich, Russia’s Foreign Ministry sees the list as a step towards the creation of a permanent system for settling disputes.

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