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HELSINKI, November 20 (Itar-Tass) – Finland’s Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson begins a two-day visit to Moscow Tuesday to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the field of family law.
Officials at the Finnish Justice Ministry told Itar-Tass Heriksson is expected to hold talks in Moscow with her Russian counterpart Alexander Konovalov. They are supposed to sign a program of cooperation between the two ministries for the years 2013 and 2014.
“This program envisions, among other things, international aid in the cases pertaining to civilian justice, including family law, and in the execution of court rulings,” an official at the ministry said.
The previous agreement was signed in 1998 and after it the sides signed programs for specific areas of cooperation.
Cooperation in the format of the Hague Convention on Civil of International Child Abduction, which is due to begin as of January 2013, including the patterns of cooperation between the two ministries’ officials is expected to make up a special item of concern for the two Konovalov and Henriksson at the negotiations.
The sides hope to consider the issues related to the protection of children and guardianship.
Henriksson will open a workshop dedicated to the children’s issue and organized by Helsinki University.
A book titled ‘Litigations over Guardianship in Russia and Finland’ will be presented at the as part of the seminar.
The situation around children in mixed families got into limelight in recent years after a whole series of scandals over the confiscation of children by Finnish social services from Russian mothers.
Finland turned down Russia’s proposal to set up a special bilateral commission on these issues but it made known its preparedness to step up cooperation within the framework of the mechanisms that exist already.
For instance, the Finns have already sent to Russia a list of individuals whom Russian officials and experts can contact in litigious situations.
Henriksson will also meet with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. They are expected to sign a biennial program of cooperation between heir agencies that will regulate the issues of international legal assistance in criminal cases and collaboration in prosecutorial matters.
The Finnish minister will also open a bilateral meeting on the investigation of air accidents and will have meetings with representatives of civic society and experts.