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ST.PETERSBURG, January 23 (Itar-Tass) – Twenty-five activists of St. Petersburg public organizations and Finnish human rights activists staged a picket outside the Finnish General Consulate in St. Petersburg to protest against the Finnish children’s services decision to take away children from Russian national Svetlana Karelina.
The action took place on Troitskaya Square where the consulate is located. It was sanctioned by the city authorities.
"We’ve come to the consulate to voice the stance of Russian public. We condemn the actions of the Finnish side that, in fact, are arbitrary,” Darya Dedova, the action’s organizer, who represents “The Trade Union of Russian Citizens”, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The employees of the Finnish General Consulate refused to contact the protesters. "No one came out to us,” Dedova said. She added that the same picket took place outside the Finnish embassy in Moscow.
Pavel Astakhov, the Russian ombudsman for the rights of children, said that the actions of the Finnish authorities who took away children from Svetlana Karelina should be classified as international abduction.
The twins, Sonya Karelina and Artyom Karelin, both citizens of Russia, came to visit their father in Finland on a tourist visa. After the parents’ divorce, the children officially stayed with their mother on decision of Petrozavodsk city court.