MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - A Finnish court is considering the case of a Russian mother accused in Finland of kidnapping her son, who has both Russian and Finnish citizenship, Finland's charge d'affaires in Russia said on Monday.
Rimma Salonen faces charges of illegally taking her son Anton, now 6, out of Finland last year. In April this year, her ex-husband Paavo Salonen took Anton back to Finland with the help of a St. Petersburg-based Finnish diplomat, an incident that sparked an angry response from the Russian government.
"A court hearing is being held presently in the city of Tampere, where the case is being investigated," Arja Makkonen said, adding that the court would decide if Salonen would be taken into custody.
Salonen has both Russian and Finnish citizenship and will be tried as a Finnish citizen, Makkonen added.
The charge d'affaires was called into the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Monday for consultations on the case.
"Rimma Salonen said she contacted the Finnish Embassy in Estonia because she wanted to come to Finland and sort out some unclear issues," Makkonen said.
According to Russian media reports, Salonen, from Russia's Nizhny Novgorod Region, was arrested on Saturday at the airport in the Finnish city of Tampere, where she had traveled to take out 30,000 euros previously frozen in her Finnish account, and to meet with Anton, as well as Nikita, her 19-year-old son from a previous marriage.
The woman's Finnish lawyer, Johan Backman, told reporters that just before leaving for Finland, she had contacted Finnish police and received a guarantee from them that she would not be arrested.
On April 12, Anton Salonen was abducted by his father in Russia, and driven across the border into Finland by Simo Pietilainen, who at the time was an employee of the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later protested to his Finnish counterpart, Alexander Stubb, over the incident, and Pietilainen was declared persona non grata in Russia.
The issue was also raised at a meeting between Russia's prime minister and Finland's president at their meeting on June 3.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the former Finnish diplomat's actions undermine trust between the countries, and President Tarja Halonen condemned the behavior of the diplomat.
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