Russian court told to act over boys kept by father


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The Independent Online

A Russian court has been asked to intervene in an international tug-of-love over two boys whose father is keeping them in Russia in breach of an order made by an English judge following a marriage break-up, lawyers say.

The children’s mother – an American who lives in London – had made an application for help using a piece of international law ratified by Russia less than two months ago, said solicitors.

Rachael Neustadt, a 35-year-old former teacher from Houston, Texas, wants a court in Russia to order her former husband Ilya Neustadt, a 36-year-old former London Metropolitan University lecturer who was born in Moscow and has dual Russian and German nationality, to return their sons Daniel, seven, and Jonathan, five, to England, they added.

The London law firm Dawson Cornwell, which represents Ms Neustadt, said the application had been made following Russia’s ratification of an international convention relating to cross-border disputes between parents in June.

Lawyers said the boys had been visiting their father in Russia for Christmas but he had refused to return them to their mother in London in January. A judge sitting in the High Court in London had ordered Mr Neustadt to return the boys to England, but he had not complied. She was now hoping that the English High Court’s “return orders” would be “enforced” in Russia under the international convention so that the children could be returned to London.