Zelensky in Qatar to Discuss Return of Children from Russia

Zelensky in Qatar to Discuss Return of Children from Russia
Zelensky in Qatar to Discuss Return of Children from Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Qatar, he said on social media, to discuss the return of Ukrainian children from Russia and other issues.

Since July 2023, Qatar has helped bring back dozens of children taken to Russia and occupied territories during the more than two-year war, an issue that is highly sensitive in Ukraine.

"Qatar assists Ukraine in returning children abducted by Russia. We will discuss these efforts," Zelensky said, announcing talks with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Zelensky said that Qatar had played an active role in organizing an upcoming Ukraine summit in Switzerland, where Kyiv hopes the return home of Ukrainian children will be a key agenda item.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children's rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova over the alleged illegal deportations.

The Kremlin, which has not been invited to the summit, has said it would be "absurd" to discuss the prospects of reaching a lasting peace in Ukraine without including Russia.

Zelensky also said he would discuss economic and security related issues on his trip to Qatar.

Qatar has helped broker deals to reunite some Ukrainian children with their families, including 16 in April and six last month.

Qatar’s Amiri Diwan said that Sheikh Tamim discussed the latest developments with Zelenskyy, including the “international community’s efforts to end the fighting and protect civilians and keeping all communications channels open to solve the crisis through dialogue”.

Zelenskyy is set to meet US President Joe Biden in Normandy, France this week.