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Canadian FM in Kyiv to announce new coalition for return of Ukrainian children deported by Russia

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Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mélanie Joly, is in Kyiv to meet with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, to announce Canada’s role in the return of Ukrainian children kidnapped by Russia, it was announced during a joint press conference.

The pair also spoke of the ratification of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, the provision of air defense systems to Ukraine, and sanctions against Russia.

Canada and Ukraine will, from February 2, create a coalition for the return home of Ukrainian children deported by Russia, Jolie announced.

Canada will raise the issue with other countries, especially Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Qatar, she said, and will work to persuade other states to unite. Canada will also work to promote the return of Ukrainian children with states that have direct relations with Russia.

“Every child who returns home is a victory,” Joly said.

The mechanism proposed by Canada for the return of Ukrainian children is effective, so Ukraine expects that other countries will join this effort, Kuleba noted.

Read also: Canada to provide Ukraine with $15 million worth of combat boats

Deportation of Ukrainian children – what is known

The International Criminal Court in the Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova in March 2023. They are suspected of committing war crimes – namely the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on April 27, 2023, recognizing the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide.

PACE created a special committee on violations of the rights of Ukrainian children by the Russians on November 27, 2023.

Using third countries, Ukraine managed to return 387 children out of almost 20,000 abducted by Russia, First Lady Olena Zelenska announced on December 9, 2023.

Ukraine returned 517 illegally deported children and 2,828 adults from Russia, including 150 civilians, Dmytro Lubinets announced at a Peace Formula meeting in Davos, Switzerland on January 14, 2024.

PACE unanimously adopted the resolution on the Status of Children of Ukraine on January 25, 2024. The resolution calls on EU member states to recognize the deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia as genocide of the Ukrainian people.

As of January 6, 2024, 19,546 children were deported or forcibly relocated to Russia, Ukraine’s Children of War platform announced.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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