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Russia fumes over child foster care case

A row over taking four young Russian children into foster care is looming between Finland and Russia.

Russia’s children’s ombudsman Pavel Astahov protested on the country’s main TV channel on Saturday over a case in which welfare officials in Vantaa were said to have taken four children into custody from a Russian woman.  

Astahova said the children were all less than six years of age. He claimed the children were put in an orphanage and then immediately transferred to a foster family, following "the elder girl's complaint that her father had smacked her bottom".

Astahov added Russia might declare Finland to be “a dangerous country” for Russian families with children.

Stories relating to Russian families or Finnish-Russian families in Finland easily make the headlines in the country. The reaction by Finnish welfare officials to Russian child rearing methods are seen as excessive.

Another highly publicized case over the custody of Anton Salonen has strained ties between Finnish and Russian officials. The divorced parents have been waging a custody war for four years. Finnish and Russian leaders have also discussed ways to solve such cases.


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