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HELSINKI, October 15 (Itar-Tass) — Finland is interested in cooperation with Russia on the legal status of children born in mixed marriages, Maria Guzenina-Richardson, the Finnish minister of health and social services, said in an interview with Itar-Tass late last week.
“We cannot set up a commission but we would like to develop cooperation with those who are already working in this sphere,” Guzenina-Richardson said.
“We have already sent a list of contact persons, including representatives of ministries and social services and other experts, to the Russian side. Now, we are waiting for similar lists from Russia,” the minister went on to say.
“It’s very important to maintain ties with each other not in an aggressive manner but peacefully. It is within the interests of our two peoples,” Guzenina-Richardson emphasized.
“It’s important for both sides to conduct a dialogue at such a level that will make it possible to exchange information and opinions openly,” the Finnish minister went on to say.
Commenting on a situation when children are taken away from Russian mothers, Guzenina-Richardson said that each such case had a long history that starts with cooperation with a family. “There should be weighty reasons behind such decisions. A child is never taken away because of one slap or an unreturned sweet,” Guzenina-Richardson said.
The Finnish minister categorically denied allegations that Finnish social workers were prejudiced against Russian mothers and were unaccounable for their actions.
“Their actions are under control, including by parliament. On the other hand, any system has to be improved. That’s why we have set up a group at our Ministry to deal with shortcomings in the work of social services,” Maria Guzenina-Richardson said.