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Agreement between the government of the Republic of Finland and the government of the Russian Federation on coöperation in perpetuating the memory of Finnish servicemen in Russia and Russian (Soviet) servicemen in Finland who fell in the Second World War

The Government of the Republic of Finland and the Government of the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties, Guided by the principles of humanism and the relevant provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims, Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

In the resolution of questions connected with the reporting, listing and upkeep of Finnish war cemeteries and graves in the Russian Federation and Russian (Soviet) war cemeteries and graves in Finland and the maintenance thereof, including the transfer and reburial of remains buried there, as well as the related work of locating and restoring such cemeteries and graves, the Contracting Parties shall be guided by this Agreement.

The Government of the Finnish Republic and the Government of the Russian Federation shall, through their authorized bodies, exchange information on the existence and whereabouts of Russian (Soviet) war cemeteries and graves in Finland and Finnish war cemeteries and graves in the Russian Federation. After examining and providing further details on the information exchanged on these questions, each Contracting Party shall compile and keep in proper order an official list of the cemeteries and graves on its territory where servicemen of the other Contracting Party are buried. Where necessary, additional entries may be made in the lists of newly discovered cemeteries and graves.

The Government of the Republic of Finland and the Government of the Russian Federation shall ensure the protection and indefinite right to preservation of, respectively, Russian (Soviet) war cemeteries and graves and memorials in Finland and Finnish war cemeteries and graves and memorials in the Russian Federation. The Contracting Parties shall also undertake to ensure that relatives of the fallen servicemen are able to visit such cemeteries and graves.

Each Contracting Party shall, at its own expense, ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the war cemeteries and graves where servicemen of the other Contracting Party are buried, and of memorials to such servicemen on its territory. The other Contracting Party may, at its discretion, also carry out such work at its own expense.

Article 2

The authorized bodies of the Contracting Parties shall agree between them selves on measures for the maintenance of the war cemeteries and graves of one Contracting Party in the territory of the other Contracting Party.

Care of the war cemeteries and graves of the Contracting Parties shall include the restoration, maintenance and preservation of the cemeteries and graves, the erection of signposts, memorials and memorial plaques, and the planting of the grounds with grass and trees.

In individual cases, with the agreement of the Contracting Parties, other forms of perpetuating the memory of the fallen may be employed.

In the application of the measures provided for by this Agreement, account shall be taken of the particulars of the domestic legislation of the Contracting Parties on whose territory the war cemeteries and graves are located, as well as to their national, religious and other traditions.

Article 3

Transfer of the remains of servicemen buried in the territory of the other Contracting Party for reburial in their native country may be carried out only at the request of the interested Contracting Party and with the consent of the State in whose territory the remains are buried.

The exhumation and transfer of remains for reburial in the serviceman's native country shall be carried out by the bodies and organizations of the Contracting Parties which are authorized for such work by the relevant authorities.

A change in the place of burial of the remains of servicemen within the country in which they are buried may, as a rule, be effected only in exceptional cases on the decision of the Government of the country in which the war cemetery or grave is located. In such cases, the other Contracting Party shall be informed in good time of such change of the place of burial.

Representatives of the Contracting Party of which the remains of a serviceman are to be exhumed with a view to changing the place of burial shall have the right to be present when this is done.

Article 4

With respect to measures connected with the location and collection of the remains of servicemen of one Contracting Party temporarily buried in an undesignated place, or left unburied on the battlefield on the territory of the other Contracting Party, agreement shall be reached separately through the bodies authorized by the Contracting Parties.

The location of the remains of servicemen of the Contracting Parties shall include the collection of information on places of burial and remains on battlefields, the organization of the search, the designation of the places of burial and the transfer of the remains.

When one Contracting Party is preparing to search in the territory of either Party for places of burial or the remains of servicemen where remains of servicemen of the other Contracting Party are likely to be located, the other Contracting Party shall be informed of the search well in advance.

When carrying out a search for places of burial or remains of servicemen with the agreement of the other Contracting Party, representatives of the Contracting Party remains of whose servicemen may be located within the territory covered by the search may be present either as observers or as participants in the search.

Article 5

Expenses connected with the reburial of remains in the native country of the fallen, or with a change of the place of burial in the country in which they are buried, shall be borne by the Contracting Party at whose request or on whose decision such work is undertaken. The expenses shall be paid by a transfer of funds to the bank accounts designated by the authorized bodies or organizations.

Article 6

Equipment and vehicles temporarily imported into the territory of the Contracting Parties and intended for the refurbishment and decoration of graves and the care of cemeteries and memorials, as well as materials and accessories imported for such purposes, shall be mutually exempted from payment of customs duty.

Control of the movement of loads across the border shall be carried out by the customs authorities of the Contracting Parties in the manner laid down by the customs regulations in force.

Article 7

This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of diplomatic notes in which the Parties notify each other of the completion of the constitutional procedures necessary for the entry into force of this Agreement.

This Agreement is concluded for an indefinite period. Either Contracting Party may denounce the Agreement through written notification to the other Contracting Party. The Agreement shall cease to have effect six months after the receipt of such notification.

DONE at Helsinki on 11 July 1992 in duplicate in the Finnish and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

For the Government of the Republic of Finland Paavo Väyrynen
For the Government of the Russian Federation A.V.Kozyrev
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