The European Union has urged Russia to stop the illegal practice of deporting Ukrainian nationals, especially children, and allow those already deported to safely return to Ukraine.
That’s according to an EU statement announced during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The EU “deplores the reported unlawful forcible deportations and transfers of Ukrainian citizens, including children, to Russia and within Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories by Russia.”
“Russia must cease these unlawful acts and all Ukrainians, especially children, must immediately be allowed to return safely,” the statement reads.
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The EU also condemned in the strongest possible terms Russia’s “persisting heinous attacks against residential, school and medical facilities, and against Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure, notably its energy, heating and water supply systems, as well as almost daily explosions in the vicinity of nuclear power plants.”
“Deliberate targeting of civilians or civilian objects is a war crime. Russia’s political and military leadership, and all those responsible for such acts, will be held to account. The EU is also determined to contribute to securing accountability for the crime of aggression, which is of concern to the international community as a whole,” the statement says.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, Ukraine’s Ombudsperson Dmytro Lubinets met in Strasbourg with PACE Head Tiny Kox, stressing the need to protect the rights of Ukrainians, against whom Russia is committing genocide.