Poland will launch a joint initiative with the European Commission to trace Ukrainian children who have been abducted by Russia during the invasion of Ukraine, ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.
Under the leadership of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the project will be supported by UN agencies, as announced by Commission spokeswoman Dana Spinant.
“You are aware of the dramatic situation of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia and sent to Russia for adoption, (which is) a great social problem, a tragedy and a crime,” said Spinant. “This is why together with Poland, we are launching this initiative (…) to address this tragic situation,” she added.
The EU executive will announce more on the initiative in the following days, the spokeswoman told the media briefing. Contacted by EURACTIV.pl, the Commission press service refused to provide more details.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, various international bodies have accused the Kremlin of forcibly deporting Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-held territories. According to the data from the Ukrainians Prosecutor’s Office, since the Russian war in Ukraine broke out, 16,000 children have been abducted and taken to Russia.
“Therefore, together with the European Commission and supported by the UN agencies, we join forces to collect evidence and take actions so that abducted children can be found and those responsible for the crime are brought to justice,” the Polish diplomatic service told EURACTIV.pl.
Asked to comment, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights did not answer the e-mail by EURACTIV.pl before the publication of this article.
Earlier this year, the German and Dutch foreign ministries condemned Moscow for what they called a “cruel” and “inhumane” policy of “tearing families apart”.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)