BTA News

Bulgaria Among Founding Member States of International Coalition for Return of Ukrainian Children

Bulgaria and over 30 other countries and international organizations have established a Coalition in Kyiv to support the return of Ukrainian children illegally deported or forcibly relocated by the Russian Federation from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the press service of the Council of Ministers said on Monday. Bulgaria was represented by Foreign and Security Policy Advisor Dragomir Zakov.

At present, over 19,000 children have been illegally removed from Ukraine, separated from their families, with Russian authorities refusing information on their whereabouts. Some of the children have been reported to have changed their identities and been illegally adopted by Russian citizens. The actions of the Russian Federation constitute an overt violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is also considered to be one of the most serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, as it affects the most vulnerable and defenceless – the children, the government said.

The initiative is part of the process launched under Ukraine’s Peace Formula, in which Bulgaria, as co-chair of the working group together with Finland, is already actively involved on issues such as food, nuclear and environmental security.

On December 7, 2023, the Council of Ministers approved the accession to the Coalition and expressed Bulgaria’s readiness to sign a declaration of the participating countries when it is open for signature.