A North London mother has been reunited with her two children after they had been detained in Russia by their father.
Rachael Neustadt, who lives in Hendon, had not seen sons Daniel and Jonathan since December 2012 when they travelled with their father to Russia for a family holiday. He failed to return them afterwards and a protracted legal struggle began.
Ms Neustadt, a former teacher from the US, applied for the return of her children under the Hague Convention on Parental Responsibility and the Protection of Children, an international treaty concerned with child protection measures. It was the time the treaty had been invoked in a case involving Russia and the UK.
A High Court judge ordered the return of two boys but father Ilya, a former lecturer at London Metropolitan University, did not do so.
Ms Neustadt went on to secure a ruling in her favour from the Moscow City Appeal Court in November last year. The children had been kept in Russia illegally, the court declared, and should be returned to the UK.
At a subsequent High Court hearing this week, Mr Justice Peter Jackson heard that the boys had been located living in an apartment with their grandmother. Russian authorities subsequently supervised their return.
Ms Neustadt said:
“We have so much to catch up on and so many hugs to make up for. I am infinitely grateful to everyone for their help and prayers.”