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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Finnish Diplomat Barred for 'Kidnap'

A Finnish diplomat has been declared persona non grata for helping a Finnish man illegally spirit his son, who also has Russian citizenship, out of the country last month, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The ministry said Simo Pietilainen, a consul at the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg, illegally took Paavo Salonen and his son, Anton, 5, out of Russia in his car. Finland's ambassador was informed of the decision against Pietilainen on Monday.

The boy is the subject of a custody battle between his father and his mother, who is Russian. The Finnish Foreign Ministry has said the mother illegally took the boy to Russia in spring 2008.

Pietilainen is in Finland, working for the Finnish Foreign Ministry in a different post.

(AP, MT)