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PACE to host debate on Russia's illegal deportation of Ukrainian children – Mezentseva

KYIV. March 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – An urgent debate on the forced deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia will be held at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Head of the permanent delegation of the Verkhovna Rada to PACE Maria Mezentseva (Servant of the People faction) has said.

“Already at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we will have an urgent debate on this topic, which will lead to a resolution to be adopted by 46 member states. And this will be the first international document that will establish all existing violations… We plan to work out this text of the document and vote it at the end of April,” Mezentseva said on the air of the national telethon on Monday.

She also said the issue of the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia’s territory will also be discussed at the summit of leaders of the member countries of the Council of Europe at the end of May in Reykjavik (Iceland).

“Today and tomorrow we are working in London, speaking in the British Parliament and we will raise this issue there so that our partners not only know the numbers, but also act together with us,” the MP said.

She said Russia does not give access to either the UN structures or the International Red Cross to the so-called “summer camps” where Ukrainian children are kept.

Mezentseva cited data from her British colleagues that there could be approximately 43 such camps in Russia.

The MP said that more than 16,000 complaints about Ukrainian children illegally taken to Russia have been officially registered, of which 307 children have already been returned home.