Russian children kept in Finland return to mother
PETROZAVODSK, April 24 (RAPSI) – Finnish bailiffs have handed over twins Sofia and Artyom, who were kept by their Finnish father, to their mother Svetlana Karelina in the presence of her defense attorney and social service representatives, Finnish attorney Jyrki Leivonen told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
According to Karelina’s attorney, northern Finland’s bailiff service chief, social service representatives, and interpreters are monitoring how the Finnish Supreme Court’s ruling is executed. Together with Karelina’s attorney, they will ensure that the children cross the Russian-Finnish border.
Leivonen said he does not rule out the possibility that he will accompany the kids to Petrozavodsk in Russia’s Republic of Karelia where Karelina resides.
Sergei Timonen, a Finnish resident, took the six-year-old twins, who are Russian citizens, with him to Finland in November 2012 after obtaining permission from their mother, who is his ex-wife.
However, the children, who were in Finland on a two-month tourist visa, did not return to Russia on time. Timonen later said the children were staying at his home. In the custody row that followed, a district court in Karelia ruled that the children should live in Russia with their mother.
In January, the Supreme Court of Russia’s northwestern Republic of Karelia upheld a lower court verdict denying Timonen custody over his children who have Russian citizenship.
The court ruling was upheld by the Helsinki Court of Appeals, a second instance court, on March 11. However, Timonen decided to appeal the ruling with Finland’s Supreme Court, which upheld the ruling of the Court of Appeals in April.