EU must do more to force Russia to return abducted Ukrainian children

The European Conservatives and Reformists are calling on the EU and Member States to step up efforts to reunite Ukrainian children abducted by Russia with their families.

Polish MEP Jadwiga Wiśniewska, speaking on behalf of the ECR Group, said Russia was committing genocide against the Ukrainian people according to international definitions. She called for tougher sanctions and an immediate halt to food imports from Russia to hit the Putin regime.

The abduction of children is a systematic act carried out on a large scale. Russia is doing everything it can to break the link between these children and their home country. They are told lies about the situation in Ukraine. Adoptions are organised. Birth certificates are being forged and Ukrainian identity is being erased. This is a weapon of war for Russia”, Wiśniewska said during the debate in Strasbourg.

She continued: “What Russia is doing is genocide. We must be even more resolute in our response. The entire Putin regime should be held accountable for these crimes. We should impose an embargo on Russian food to ensure that this income cannot be used”.

On Tuesday, 17-year-old Valeriya Halych attended the ECR Group meeting and spoke about her abduction from Ukraine to Russia and her attempts to escape.

“I am telling my story to show that there are still thousands of abducted children in the hands of Russia, whose Ukrainian identity is being erased and who are being indoctrinated with Russian propaganda”, Halych told ECR MEPs.

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