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PRESS RELEASE

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Speaks to Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb by Telephone

767-14-05-2009

A telephone conversation took place on May 14 between Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb. Lavrov declared a protest to Stubb over reports of the illegal taking out of Russia by Finnish citizen P. Salonen of his son Anton, who is a Russian citizen, and demanded explanations from the Finnish side, stating that taking the child out of the country against the will of his mother, a Russian citizen, was a gross violation of Russian legislation that entails criminal liability.

From the Finnish minister’s explanations it followed that the consulate general of Finland in St. Petersburg was involved in this illegal act. Salonen had stayed there with his son recently, on an expired visa at that. All of this is a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which enjoins employees of diplomatic missions to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state. Such actions cannot be left without consequences.

Sergey Lavrov stressed that what has happened runs counter to the spirit of the traditional Russian-Finnish good-neighborly cooperation and that the Russian side insists on assistance by Finland’s official authorities in resolving this incident, in respect of which the appropriate legal action will be taken.


May 14, 2009