Russian children's rights ombudsman hails Finnish president's initiative to protect children together

Russian presidential ombudsman for children's rights Pavel Astakhov has hailed the Finnish president's idea to create a Finnish-Russian commission on children's rights.

"It's good news because the previous president flatly refused such a step, saying it's an internal affair of Finland," Astakhov said at the all-Russian seminar Boosting the Effectiveness of the Commission on Minors and the Protection of Their Rights held in Kazan on Wednesday.

"It stopped being an internal affair a long time ago, as we clearly see," Astakhov sad.

"It's good that the Finnish parliament has backed the Finnish president's decision," he said.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has spoken for the creation of a Finish-Russian commission for children's rights.

"We have spoken with Foreign Minister Lavrov about this commission during his visit. It's our proposal. We suggest that our cooperation with Russia on this matter should be as broad and deep as possible. The Finnish authorities passed the list of Finish members of this commission to the Russians last week," Niinisto told the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat on Tuesday.

"Our officials should work on that. I am confident that we can find solutions and achieve mutual understanding at this level," he said.

Pertti Salolainen, chairman of the Finnish parliament committee on international affairs, has backed the idea to create such a commission.

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