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Russia, Finland discuss case of children disappearance from shelter

September 26, 16:06 UTC+3 HELSINKI
Two twin siblings and their elder sister were taken away from a Russian family on September 5
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© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

HELSINKI, September 26. /TASS/. Authorities of Finland and Russia are cooperating now to investigate all the circumstances into the incident involving three children seized from Russian national Viktoriya Medvedeva, the country’s ministry of social affairs and health said on Monday.

"It is illegal to take children placed in a shelter without the permission of Finland’s social security bodies. The actions on investigating the situation are conducted as part of inter-departmental cooperation," the Finnish ministry said, adding that the central criminal police are also investigating the case.

Finland’s human rights activist Johan Backman earlier said that the documents of the Russian side for taking three children from Finland to Russia were ready but the Finnish side failed to give its answer.

On Friday evening, the children’s father brought all the three children from the shelter in Seinaejoki to Helsinki. Mika Ihaksinen from the National Bureau of Investigation said: "At the moment I can only confirm that we investigate if the children had been taken (from shelter) without permission."

Two twin siblings and their elder sister were taken away from the Medvedev family near Seinaejoki on September 5. The mother said she did not know the reason for the move. Medvedeva has been staying in Finland since 2011 and has a working visa.

This is not the first such case reported in Finland. The country’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has earlier said that children are not taken away from parents because of their nationality and this measure is used only in extreme cases. The Finnish social services say this is done for the good of children who are usually returned to the family after investigations into all the circumstances.

Russia’s children’s rights commissioner Anna Kuznetsova said "the analysis of the received documents and the information from the Russian Foreign Ministry allows making a conclusion that the children once again, unfortunately, are victims in a family conflict."

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