EC, Poland launch initiative on Ukrainian children abducted by Russia

Poland and the European Commission (EC) are launching an initiative aimed at repatriating Ukrainian children abducted by Russia.

The aim of the scheme is to track down the missing children and bring those responsible to justice.

The initiative will be led by Ursula von der Leyen, the EC president, and Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, according to EC spokesperson Dana Spinant, who announced the initiative on Monday.

It is estimated that the Russian forces have sent thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia for adoption since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Spinant said at a press conference.

The EC will present details of the initiative in the coming days, Spinant added.

Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, a Polish deputy foreign minister, said in Berlin on Monday that Poland felt especially obliged to show concern for the fate of Ukrainian children abducted to Russia as it had its own experiences with child abduction.

"This is, in fact, a war crime, one that has unfortunately been committed several times before in history, also in Polish history. This is why Poland feels especially obliged to draw attention to the dramatic fate of Ukraine's... youngest inhabitants," Szynkowski vel Sęk said.