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Convention between the Finnish Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic concerning the repatriation of the nationals of the two contracting parties to their respective countries

The Government of the Finnish Republic and the Government of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, being desirous of carrying out, as early as possible, the provisions of Article 35 of the Peace Treaty signed at Dorpat on October 14, 1920, regarding the repatriation of Finnish and Russian nationals, have decided to conclude the following Convention regarding the conditions under which this repatriation is to be effected and the me sures which are to be taken for this purpose, leaving the drawing up and signing of the Convention to the mixed Finnish-Russian Central Committee, and for this purpose have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries

For the Government of the Republic of Finland:

A.Ahonen, P.J.Hynninen, A.E.Alfthan, V.Hupli, Y.W.Puhakka;

For the Government of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic:

S.M.Frankfurt, A.M.Smirnoff, A.P.Selenoi, A.M.Ignatieff, N.P.Koltschanovski,

who, after communicating their full powers, which were found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the following provisions:

Article 1.

The two Contracting Parties undertake to complete, as early as possible, the evacuation, which has already been commenced, of Russian nationals resident in Finland and of Finnish nationals resident in Russia.

Article 2.

The present Convention shall apply not only to nationals of the Contracting Powers, but also, in particular, to Finnish nationals in Russia and to Russian citizens in Finland (including prisoners of war) who have been sentenced, or are being tried, or are in custody, for political offences of the nature referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 35 of the Treaty of Peace, committed before the Treaty of Peace came into force, or who are in custody for other reasons referred to in the said paragraphs.

The present Convention shall also apply to all nationals of the Contracting Parties who have been indicted or sentenced in the territory of the other Contracting Party for miscellaneous offences not of a serious character.

Offences of a general nature which are committed as preparatory steps to the commission of political offences shall, provided the delinquent is eligible for repatriation under the terms of the Treaty of Peace, be regarded as political offences within the meaning of this article, and shall not prevent repatriation.

Article 3.

The term "Russian nationals" shall only apply to persons residing in Finland who can prove that they were formerly of Russian nationality by the production of a Russian internal or foreign passport, birth certificate, an extract from the records of the public registrar's offices, documents concerning military service, certificate of merit, education diplomas, etc., or who can produce a certificate from the competent authorities of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic that they are recognised as Russian nationals.

The term "Finnish nationals" shall apply to persons who on arrival in Russia were in possession of a passport issued by the competent authorities of the Finnish Republic and also to persons who, prior to the declaration of independence of Finland, were recognised under the laws of the former Grand Duchy of Finland as Finnish citizens, and who have not since that time lost their Finnish nationality.

Evidence regarding Finnish citizenship may consist of:

(1) Passports and certificates of residence drawn up by the former Finnish Passport Office in Petrograd, or by the District and Police authorities of the former Grand-Duchy of Finland, or by the provincial Governors;

(2) Birth certificates or extracts from taxation registers or district registers drawn up by the Finnish authorities and visaed by the Legation of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic in Finland, or by its Consulate, where such a consulate exists;

(3) Documents showing that the person in question has performed his military service in the forces of the former Grand Duchy of Finland.

The provisions of this Convention shall also apply to wives returning to their country, and to children who are living with their parents.

A woman who has contracted a marriage, after October 22, 1918, with a Finnish citizen living in Russia, but who in other respects does not belong to the category of persons to be sent back to Finland under the present Agreement, shall be authorised to go back to Finland, provided that at the time when she contracted the marriage she made a declaration such as is required by the laws in force in Russia, or that she subsequently lost her Russian nationality.

Women belonging by origin to one of the Contracting States shall be allowed to return to the other Contracting State if they have been married to a national of the other Contracting State, but have become widows or have been legally divorced, provided that they have in other respects fulfilled the requirements of the present Agreement. They shall also be entitled to take with them their children under 18 years of age.

Article 4.

Citizens of both Contracting Parties who desire to return to their own country under the terms of the present Agreement shall notify the authorities of their desire within six months, if they are resident in Finland or European Russia, or, if they are resident in Asiatic Russia, within nine months, of the coming into force of the present Agreement. The notification and the documents relative thereto shall be submitted to the Authority which is carrying out the repatriation.

Article 5.

Repatriation shall take place at the request of the persons concerned, and compulsion may not be resorted to for this purpose.

Article 6.

Persons returning to their own country who are in Government service or employment shall be discharged from such employment fourteen days after having given notice, and shall be entitled to claim full pay up to the end of their period of service.

Article 7.

Nationals of the two Contracting Parties, both those who are returning to their own country under the terms of the present Convention and those who returned under the terms of the Peace Treaty before the coming into force of the present Agreement, shall be entitled to retain or to liquidate, in accordance with the general legislation in force in the country concerned, all movable and immovable property lawfully possessed by them in the other country.

Article 8.

Nationals of the two Contracting Parties, who are returning to their own country under the terms of the present Agreement, shall be entitled, subject to the restrictions and regulations given below, to take with them into the other country movable property lawfully possessed by them.

Paragraph I. Russian nationals returning from Finland to Russia may take with them without hindrance the following articles, the export of which is prohibited:

(1)
Bread15 kilos or 36 pounds and 6o zolotniks
Other foodstuffs10 kilos or 24 pounds and 40 zolotniks
Groceries of all kinds5 kilos or 12 pounds and 6o zolotniks
Sugar5 kilos or 12 pounds and 20 zolotniks
New clothing10 kilos or 24 pounds and 40 zolotniks
Manufactured articles and medicines5 kilos or 12 pounds and 20 zolotniks
Total50 kilos or 3 poods, 2 pounds and 8 zolotniks

(2) I hectolitre or 3.82 chetveriks of potatoes;

(3) Two weeks' supplies of food for the domestic animals accompanying the persons repatriated.

Paragraph 2. Finnish nationals returning from Russia to Finland may take with them the following articles, the export of which is prohibited:

(1) Russian paper currency to an amount not exceeding 10,000 roubles at the value current in 1922.

(2) Articles of all kinds made of gold or platinum, the weight of which does not exceed 25 zolotniks or 107 grammes, or similar articles the total weight of which does not exceed 25 zolotniks or 107 grammes per person; articles of silver weighing not more than 5 pounds or 2 kilos per person, and, in addition, gold and silver watches and chains, engagement and wedding rings, silver cigarette cases and ladies' silver purses, not more than one article of each kind being allowed for each repatriated person of over 18 years of age.

(3) Articles made with precious stones (diamonds, brilliants, sapphires, emeralds, rubies) and pearls, the total weight of which does not exceed one carat.

(4) Sewing-machines, one per family.

(5) Works of art or antiques, if they do not form collections, except in the case of family heirlooms.

(6) Articles of food to an amount not exceeding 20 pounds or 8.2 kilos per person, including an amount not exceeding 8 pounds or 3.2 kilos of bread, 5 pounds or 2 kilos, of meat products, and 4 pounds or 1.2 kilos of milk products, and 4 pounds or 1.6 kilos of other foodstuffs, including not more than I pound or 0.4 kilo of sugar, and not more than 1/4 pound or 0.1 kilo of tea.

(7) Articles made of tobacco: not more than 500 cigarettes, or 1/2 pound or 0.2 kilo of tobacco per person over 18 years of age.

(8) Soap: one piece of toilet soap per person, and 1 pound or 0.4 kilo of household soap per family.

(9) Articles of cloth, hide or leather, and fancy goods, and other similar products, intended for personal use only but not for sale; in this connection it should be noted that in the case of outer garments and boots and shoes not more than two articles or pairs of each kind (in the case of fur coats only one) may be taken, and in the case of underclothing not more than six articles of each kind per person.

(10) Printed matter, documents, deeds, photographs and all other kinds of paper, provided, however, that they have been examined by the proper authorities.

The following articles may only be taken with them by repatriated Finnish nationals if they have received permission to do so in each individual case:

(1) Russian paper currency in excess of the amounts referred to above, and foreign currency, for the export of which the permission of the People's Commissariat for Financial Affairs is necessary;

(2) Securities of all kinds, such as bonds, shares, bills of exchange, etc., for the export of which the permission of the People's Commissariat for Financial Affairs is necessary;

(3) Art collections and libraries, for the export of which the permission of the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs is necessary.

Paragraph 3. For the present, and so long as the traffic difficulties in Russia continue, Finnish nationals returning from Russia to their own country may take with them, besides their hand-luggage, not more than 10 poods or 163.8 kilos per person. Persons engaged in special professions or occupations, such as scienti3ts, artists, doctors, farmers, artisans, labourers, etc., shall, in addition, be entitled to take with them to their own country tools and appliances required in their profession, provided always that they have obtained special permission to do so.

Repatriated persons who travel by road may take with them, in addition to the property referred to above, furniture, carriages, carts, sledges, and domestic animals belonging to their household.

Repatriated persons shall have the right to place in public or private trust property which they cannot take with them, and they may subsequently remove such property when traffic difficulties have been removed, provided that such property is not subject to export prohibitions.

Article 9.

Nationals of the two Contracting Parties who have returned to their homes under the terms of the Treaty of Peace, before the present Agreement has come into force, may, by reason of special circumstances to be stated in each individual case, remove unliquidated property which has been left in the other country and to which they may lawfully lay claim.

Article 10.

Paragraph 1. Russian nationals returning from Finland to Russia shall, within ten days of their departure, supply to the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, through the Russian authorities referred to in Article 12 of the present agreement, an inventory in duplicate of the property which they propose to take with them. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs shall retain one copy and shall stamp the other and return it through the above-mentioned authorities to the person concerned, with a notice to the effect that the repatriated person in question is entitled under the terms of the present Agreement to remove the property referred to in the inventory.

Paragraph 2. As regards the decree concerning the liquidation and removal of property belonging to Finnish nationals returning from Russia to Finland, the following regulations shall apply:

(1) Finnish nationals duly registered at the Repatriation Office shall, if they wish to avail themselves of the benefits allowed under the present article, supply, within two weeks after such registration, an inventory of their property to the Provincial Administrative Authorities at their place of residence, if they reside at the capital of the province; or at the competent Repatriation Office, if they reside outside the capital at a place where a Repatriation Office is situated. The Repatriation Office concerned must draw up and attach to the inventory a certificate to the effect that the person referred to has been registered as a repatriated person. Persons who have been duly registered at the Repatriation Office, but who have not yet returned to their own country, shall be bound to provide the inventory referred to above within one month from the coming into force of the present Agreement.

(2) The inventory shall include the property legally belonging to the repatriated person at the time of drawing up the inventory in accordance with the laws of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.

(3) The registered inventory shall be prepared in duplicate, one copy being retained by the Provincial Administrative Authorities or the Repatriation Office, as the case may be, and the other, after having been examined and certified correct by the above-mentioned authorities, shall be handed to the person making the declaration and shall constitute a proof of his right to the property referred to in the inventory and also to the removal and liquidation of the property.

(4) The Provincial Administrative Authorities, or the Repatriation Office, as the case may be, shall indicate property which has been placed in trust both in the copy of the inventory held by the owner and also in that held by the Administrative Authorities or Repatriation Office, and shall forward to the owner a duplicate copy of the supplementary inventory.

(5) Property which has been liquidated on the spot shall be indicated by the Provincial Administrative Authorities or the Repatriation Office in the owner's copy of the registered inventory and also in that held by the Administrative Authorities or Repatriation Office. The Provincial Administrative Authorities or the Repatriation Office shall notify to the owner the sum realised by the sale of the property, and. this notice shall entitle the owner of the property liquidated, should he so desire, to transfer such sum or part thereof, subject to the consent of the People's Commissary for Financial Affairs, to Finland through the intermediary of the National Bank or any other Banking Institution carrying on business in Russia. When this transfer has been made, the sum shall be paid out within a period of one month after it has been received in European Russia, or within two months after it has been received in the case of Asiatic Russia, these periods being reckoned as from the day on which the sum is received for transfer.

(6) When it has been noted in the inventory that the proceeds left in trust are to be released, in the case of an article which has been liquidated on the spot, the Provincial Administrative Authorities or the Repatriation Office shall certify the inventory which shall then entitle the owner to release the property.

(7) Articles shown in the inventory which are necessary for trade or industrial enterprises or for agriculture, and articles which are of especial importance for educational purposes (such as scientific libraries, collections, laboratories, art galleries) and which, in the opinion of the body dealing with the matter, are indispensable to the population of the locality, may be bought in at a price to be settled with the owner. If no agreement can be reached, the question shall be referred for final settlement to the mixed Finnish-Russian Central Committee.

Note. The sum of money or other compensation which the owner receives for property referred to under this heading which has been sold by the authorities shall be transferred to Finland through the National Bank or through any other Banking Institution which is carrying on business in Russia, without any restriction. The sum shall be deposited and paid out, should the owner so desire, in the same currency as that of the institution in which it has been placed. The sum in question shall be paid out at latest within a period of one month after the transfer has been received in the case of European Russia, or two months in the case of Asiatic Russia, these periods being reckoned as from the day on which the sum has been received for remittance.

(8) Finnish nationals who have returned to their own country under the terms of the Treaty of Peace before this Agreement has come into force shall be entitled to send in, within a period of four months after the coming into force of the present Agreement, a list of property legally owned by them and left behind in Russia to the Provincial Administrative Authorities at the place where the property is situated. This list shall be sent either through the diplomatic representative of Finland or the Consulate, if such a Consulate has been established in the Russian locality in question, or else through the persons in whose trust the property has been placed. In liquidating and removing such property, account shall be taken of the provisions in the relevant paragraphs of the present article.

Article 11.

Property which is brought out of the country by nationals who are returning shall be free of Customs and other duties.

Article 12.

The return of the property shall be carried out by the authorities of the country to which the nationals in question are returning, through the respective diplomatic representatives or Consulates, if such are subsequently appointed.

The places at which exchanges shall take place are Beloostrov Station on the Russian side, and Rajajoki Station on the Finnish side.

Article 13.

The authorities referred to in the previous articles shall be entitled to import into the country from which returning citizens are sent back, to be divided amongst such citizens for their personal use, such supplies as are necessary, clothes, fuel, medicine and household articles, and shall also procure these articles in the country in question. Every consignment of such necessities shall, however, be examined at the frontier by the Customs authorities of the other Contracting Party in order to ascertain that the rights granted under these articles are not abused by the consignment of larger quantities, or other necessities than are indispensable for the use of the repatriated persons. Every such consignment shall be accompanied by a certificate to the effect that the consignment is intended for the use of the repatriated persons. This certificate shall be drawn up by the People's Commissary for Foreign Affairs delegated to Finland, in the case of goods consigned for distribution among Finnish citizens returning home from Russia, and by the Finnish Legation in Russia in the case of goods consigned for distribution among Russian citizens returning home from Finland.

The method of distributing consignments of necessities among repatriated citizens referred to in this article shall be controlled by the representative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland and by the representative of the People's Commissary for Foreign Affairs in Russia.

Article 14.

The authorities referred to in Article 12 of the present Convention which are to take charge of the consignment of necessities shall be entitled to appeal for assistance from the authorities of the other Contracting Party through the authorities appointed by that Party to deal with foreign affairs, who shall provide information regarding the number of persons returning, their places of residence, and any citizens of the other country who may have died, together with information regarding their relations and circumstances of marriage.

Article 15.

Repatriated citizens and their property shall be conveyed to the State frontier at their own expense or at the expense of their own country.

Article 16.

The technical organisations for conveying Russian nationals back to Finland shall be established in a manner to be agreed upon between the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the permanent representative of Russia in Finland.

Finnish nationals returning home from Russia shall be entered in the registers of the Russian Repatriation Office. The Finnish authorities referred to in Article 12 of the present Agreement shall be entitled to receive applications from the Finnish nationals who desire to return to their own country, and shall also be entitled to apply to the Russian Repatriation Office for permission to allow the Finnish nationals in question to be entered in their registers. Finnish nationals so registered shall as a rule be sent back to their own country in the order in which they are entered in the register.

Persons returning home shall be conveyed in convoys consisting of not more than 500 persons each. If necessary, they may also be sent singly.

Lists of the persons belonging to the various convoys shall be supplied by the Russian Repatriation Office by agreement with the Finnish Legation or Consulate, if such have been established.

The Russian Repatriation Office shall, not later than ten days before the despatch of each convoy, forward to the proper Finnish authorities a list containing the Christian name and surname, age, and last place of residence in the foreign country and in their own country of the persons included in the convoy in question; this list must be returned duly acknowledged within seven days.

Note. If persons who are serving a term of imprisonment or are under arrest cannot be sent or conveyed home together with a convoy, they shall be sent singly and under guard, and the documents connected with their case, or a copy of these documents, shall be examined and certified as in order in the manner laid down by the State concerned.

Article 17.

Should the authorities of the repatriating State refuse for any reason to despatch any person belonging to a convoy, the person in question shall, after the objection has been removed, be sent with the next convoy.

Article 18.

The Governments of the two Contracting Parties undertake to make this Agreement generally known as quickly as possible, and in any case not later than three weeks after it has been signed.

Article 19.

The present Convention is drawn up in duplicate in Finnish, Swedish and Russian, all three texts being authentic.

Article 20.

The present Convention shall come into force immediately after signature.

In faith whereof the above Plenipotentiaries, representing the Contracting Parties, have signed this Convention, and have thereto affixed their seals:

Helsingfors, August 12, 1922.

A.Ahonen
P.J.Hynninen
A.E.Alftan
Väinö Hupli
Y.W.Puhakka

S.M.Frankfurt
A.M.Smirnoff
A.P.Selenoi
A.M.Ignatieff
N.P.Koltchanovski

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