Russia, Ukraine to exchange displaced children in Qatar-brokered deal

Russia and Ukraine have agreed in a Qatari-brokered deal to exchange almost 50 children displaced by Moscow's invasion, the Kremlin's children's rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova announced in Doha Wednesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that 16 Ukrainian children previously "deported to Russia" had been reunited with their families.

"A group of 16 Ukrainian children ... have been released and reunited with their families" in Qatar, Zelensky said, not addressing Russia's claim that 48 children were involved in an exchange, including 19 that would go to Russia.

Moscow has been accused of forcibly taking Ukrainian children into Russian territory during its full-scale offensive, with Lvova-Belova wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges related to those allegations.

"For the first time in a face-to-face format, we held talks with the Ukrainian side. Twenty-nine children are due to go to Ukraine and 19 to Russia," Lvova-Belova announced.

She gave no details on why the children were in Russian hands or where they had come from.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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