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PETROZAVODSK, March 11 (Itar-Tass) – A Finnish court has ruled in favor of a Russian mother whose two six-year old children went to see their father in Finland on a tourist visa in November but did not come back. The second instance court of Helsinki ruled on Monday that the children of Svetlana Karelina, a resident of Petrozavodsk, and of Sergei Timonen, her ex-husband, now residing in Yoensuu, Finland, must be returned to Russia, Karelina’s Finnish lawyer Jyrki Leivonen told Itar-Tass.
The ruling will now be referred to the court of the city of Yoensuu where the children now stay with their father and the Yoensuu court must ensure the fulfillment of the ruling, Leivonen said. He said Timonen can make an appeal against the ruling but he must return the children right now. If he does not obey, Finnish bailiffs and social workers will be obliged to intervene. These procedures can take several days.
In the autumn of 2012, Sergei Timonen, a former resident of Petrozavodsk who now lives in Yoensuu, refused to return to Karelina, a resident of Petrozavodsk, their common children, who came to visit him. All this time the children stayed in Finland on tourist visas that have expired by now. Karelina’s ex-husband sought a court ruling in favor of depriving her of parental rights, but the court ruled against him. On January 25, 2013, the Supreme Court of Karelia decreed that the six-year old twins Artyom and Sofia Timonen must be returned to their mother Svetlana Karelina in Petrozavodsk. The question of the children’s custody must also be decided on Russian territory.