Anton Salonen is a child with Russian-Finnish dual citizenship involved in an international child custody dispute between his parents. The Finnish-born child was first abducted by his Estonian Russian mother in 2008 and taken to Russia. In turn the boy was abducted by his father in 2009 and smuggled back to Finland with the help of Finnish diplomats stationed at the Finnish consulate in Saint Petersburg; the incident has sparked a diplomatic row between Russia. The Finnish diplomat who helped to abduct the child was dismissed from the Finnish Consulate and Russia has declared him persona non grata. Anton's Finnish father and Russian Estonian mother met in Tallinn, Estonia in 1994 and married in 1997; the pair filed for legal divorce in 2002, which came into effect on 13 January 2003, but they continued to live together until 2005. Anton was born out of wedlock on 3 October 2003. At birth Anton was entitled to Russian citizenship, but the citizenship was never registered, he was registered as a Finnish citizen.
His mother gained Finnish citizenship via naturalisation after the birth. After the divorce the parents had joint custody. From a previous marriage of his mother, Anton has an older, 19-year-old brother, whom she left in Finland. Anton's mother left Finland with Anton without the consent of the father on 5 March 2008; the Russian Embassy in Finland assisted the mother with the Russian visa application. The signature of the father is presumed to have been forged on the application; the 65-year-old father blames a religious organization near the Russian Orthodox Church in Finland for the abduction, calling the Memorial Society of Saint Seraphim of Sarov a sect. The lower court in Tampere ordered; the order is only effective inside the European Union. Russia is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; the court gave sole custody of the child to the father. In Russia Anton was granted Russian citizenship based on information provided by the mother.
According to Uusi Suomi this sort of citizenship is granted in months, not in days. After locating the child and mother in Balakhna near Nizhny Novgorod the father initiated legal proceedings in Russia to regain custody and revoke the Russian citizenship. On 20 November 2008, the Balakhna City Court revoked Anton's Russian citizenship because his mother had presented false information for registration of citizenship. On 17 March 2009, the judicial board on civil cases of the Nizhny Novgorod regional court upheld the decision. After the decision, the father came to Russia to take Anton back to Finland. Russian online newspaper Grani.ru claimed that in April 2009 Anton was forcibly taken from his mother by his father outside her home on Ryazanova Street. The press service of Russia's Investigation Committee alleges that on 12 April 2009, the father, acting in conspiracy with persons unknown, attacked the mother and retrieved Anton. After being prevented from leaving Russia, the father and son took refuge at a vacant apartment of the Finnish Consulate-General in Saint Petersburg.
The Russian authorities ignored the earlier Russian court decision and Anton's Russian citizenship was expeditiously re-instated on May 7. One day on 8 May, Anton was smuggled to Finland in the closed trunk of a diplomatic car by the legal consul at the Saint Petersburg consulate, Simo Pietiläinen; the story was revealed on May 14 by the Finnish scandal paper 7 päivää causing a diplomatic incident. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov called his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb to protest and to demand an explanation; this was followed by a formal complaint. The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Finland of a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states that diplomats should observe the laws of the host country; the formal complaint was followed by a formal diplomatic note on May 20. Diplomat Pietiläinen, who helped take Anton out of Russia, was dismissed from the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg after the incident. Russia has declared Pietiläinen persona non grata.
The developments in St. Petersburg were followed by the Finnish government, including President Tarja Halonen, who condemned the behaviour of Simo Pietiläinen The actions of the Finnish diplomat involved were defended by Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb, whilst Tarja Halonen has condemned them. President Halonen, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and foreign minister Stubb all denied having prior knowledge of the smuggling plan or the involvement of Finnish diplomats in it. There is a conflict of law between Russia, it is a criminal offense under Finnish law for the Russian mother to take her child to Russia. It is a criminal offense under Russian law for the Finnish diplomat to take the same child from Russia back to Finland; this is. This is; the incident has been covered in Finnish and Russian media in what some commentators have described as a media war. The Russian media have speculated that the incident will have a negative effect on Finland–Russia relations; the case has been compared to that of Eliza André.
The Investigation Committee of the Russian Prosecutor's office has launched criminal proceedings against the father on suspicion of "pre-meditated kidnapping of a person by an organized group" under article 126 of the Russian Criminal Code. Anton's mother returned to Finland on 1 August 2009, she was arrested at the airport in the Tampere. A Finnish co
Luther S. Luedtke is an author and non-profit executive. From 2006 to 2015 he was president and chief executive officer of Education Development Center, an international research and development organization with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. EDC has been named one of the top 100 places to work in Boston. Luedtke served as the fifth President of California Lutheran University from 1992-2006. During his tenure, undergraduate enrollment increased from 1,250 students to 2,000, the annual operating budget grew from $29 million to $66 million; the university established new academic programs in areas such as computer science and business. In addition, he helped oversaw the completion of six new buildings, he served as President of CLU for fourteen years, the longest of any past president. Prior to becoming CLU President, he served as a faculty member at the University of Southern California for 22 years. Prior to EDC, Dr. Luedtke spent 14 years as President of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.
Prior to CLU, Dr. Luedtke spent two decades at the University of Southern California, where he held a series of positions as Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in English, Chair of American Studies, Director of the School of Journalism. Dr. Luedtke was a Fulbright Lecturer in Germany, a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar and Director of the American Studies Research Centre in India, a Resident Scholar with the U. S. Information Agency in Washington, D. C. Additionally, he worked as a consultant for the U. S. Department of Education, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, other governmental bodies. In 1965, Dr. Luedtke received a bachelor of arts summa cum laude in English from Gustavus Adolphus College and in 1971 received his Ph. D. in American Civilization from Brown University. He is the author of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Romance of the Orient and the editor of Making America: The Society and Culture of the United States, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Brotherhood, since renamed Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.