Six Ukrainian children will be returned from Russia with the mediation of Qatar

2023-12-05 15:40:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Six Ukrainian children will be returned from Russia with the mediation of Qatar

Six children will be returned to Ukraine from Russia under a deal brokered by Qatar, Reuters reports.

A Qatari official told the news agency of the deal on Tuesday, with a source involved in arranging the returns saying they had stayed with relatives in Russia or Russian-occupied territory.

The children are on their way to Ukraine via Moscow, the source added.

This is the second phase of the return of children brokered by Qatar, after four minors were returned in October.

Negotiations for the return had been underway since at least April 2023, a source told Reuters in July.

Qatar agreed to a request by Ukraine to mediate with Russia on the return of the children to their immediate families during a visit to Ukraine in July 2023 by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

"The process includes obtaining the families' consent ... identifying minors and verifying identification information, coordinating with humanitarian organizations, as well as logistical arrangements," a Qatari official said.

Reuters said the cases appear to be different from those of the Ukrainian children, who Ukraine says were forcibly sent to Russia from territories occupied by Moscow and who are the subject of an International Criminal Court case.

Kyiv says around 20,000 children have been taken from Ukraine to Russia or Russian-controlled territory without the consent of their families or guardians. He calls it a war crime that meets the UN treaty's definition of genocide./ CNA

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