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NIZHNI NOVGOROD, November 20 (Itar-Tass) — Russia will press for an intergovernmental agreement with Finland to protect the rights of Russian children, Children’s Rights Commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, told the national forum called The Sanctity of Motherhood in Nizhny Novgorod on Tuesday.
Astakhov recalled that Finland still shirked signing a treaty on legal assistance in family and civil affairs and setting up an inter-government commission. The sole achievement at this point is the emergence of a legal assistance contact group.
“Let us consider it as the first step,” he said.
Asked about the family of Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya, who was separated from her four children by Finland’s Social Service again just recently, Astakhov replied “the affair is not so simple as it might seem.”
“Unfortunately, the situation has got more complicated, as Anastasia’s family has developed an internal dispute. We are helping Anastasia with consular, diplomatic and legal advice, but we cannot meddle in the domestic affairs of another state. We do not have any right to do this. It is against international law,” Astakhov added.
He asked everybody to remember that not all children in that family were Russian nationals. “One has to bear in mind that in a situation like this there is hardly anything we can do,” Astakhov warned.
Once again he emphasized the need for “an interstate agreement that would protect our children abroad.”