MOSCOW, October 19 (Itar-Tass) — The situation about Russian citizen Anastasia Zavgorodnayaya and her children, who were taken away from her by the Finnish social services, is complicated by the fact that only her elder daughter has Russian citizenship, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s consular services department Alexander Prosvirkin said on Friday.
“In these circumstances we can act only within the law,” he told a news conference in Moscow. “Only Zavgorodnayaya’s elder daughter has a Russian passport. As of now, we cannot do anything in respect of her other children who are citizens of Finland.”
According to Prosvirkin, Zavgorodnayaya is taking effort to have her other children be issued Russian passports. “We will help her with that,” the Russian diplomat pledged. “Then we will have a formal possibility to protect them legally faultlessly.”
Speaking about the situation around Zavgorodnayaya’s elder daughter, the diplomat stressed that Russia’s position is “adamant.” “All necessary steps will be made to protect her rights,” he said.
Meanwhile, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian foreign ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of law, noted that now there are no international legal tools regulating complicated issues linked with the interests of children in mixed marriages. “Russia is following the path of signing corresponding bilateral agreements,” he said. “Such documents have been signed with a number of countries, talks on the matter are underway with more countries.” He stressed that some dialogue mechanisms are badly needed to solve and prevent such situation with countries where such cases are not rare.
Finland’s local social service took four children away from Zavgorodnayaya, who is living in the Finnish town of Vantaa with her husband, a Finnish citizen of the Sudanese origin, in September after their six-year old daughter complained at school that her father had slapped her on the rear. The schoolteacher reported the incident to the social service which took the elder girl and the twins (two-year old) away from their mother. Later, they also took away a baby which was barely ten days old.