May 28, 2024, 15:18

Within the next six months, CoE to prioritize return of Ukrainian civilians illegally imprisoned and deported by russia

Following Ukraine’s proposal, at its summer session the Council of Europe will focus on returning Ukrainians illegally imprisoned and deported by russia.

Maria Mezentseva, Head of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, made this statement during a discussion at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

“I want to share with you some new priorities that the Council of Europe has set for itself for the next six months. The conciliation board for the next regular summer session lasted literally two days. And when we talk about justice and the reconstruction of Ukraine, about war crimes in general, we connect these to an important topic – the creation of a special tribunal. But we know that the most difficult investigations, which relate to various categories of war crimes, are, of course, missing civilians. While with the category of service men and women there is a clear understanding of where a person served, was registered, where they could be, when it comes to civilian prisoners, there might be no information for years. During the speech of the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, who will chair the Council of Ministers for the next six months – and there are 46 foreign ministers, we emphasized this and asked to assign high priority to the return of all prisoners, those illegally imprisoned, illegally exported and deported. Today we are talking, of course, about civilians, including Ukrainian children, but (we are talking – Ed.) about civilians in captivity in general,” she said.

Maria Mezentseva pointed out that the proposal was supported by the minister.

“And we will be happy to collaborate with the civil society, the Ukrainian government and coordination centers at the level of new ideas, opinions and how we can implement them,” Maria Mezentseva Mezentseva added.

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