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8 Jun, 2009 16:49

Russia declares Finnish diplomat persona non grata

The Russian Foreign Ministry has declared a Finnish diplomat persona non grata for helping a Finnish citizen illegally take his child out of Russia without the consent of the child’s Russian mother.

Matti Anttonen, the Finnish Ambassador to Russia, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on June 8 and informed that “the legal consul at the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg, Simo Pietilainen, who illegally drove Finnish national Paavo Salonen and his child Anton Salonen, who also has Russian citizenship, out of Russia, has been declared a persona non grata for the gross violation of Russian laws and Vienna conventions about diplomatic and consular relations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement says.

Also, a criminal case for kidnapping a child has been launched against Paavo Salonen.

Meanwhile, the Finnish Embassy in Moscow has confirmed that the kidnapping took place, but say the diplomat didn't break any laws.

Read more about little Anton’s story