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Russia: ECHR Should Reject Kiev’s Claim Against Moscow on Donbass Children as Unacceptable

© REUTERS / VINCENT KESSLERThe building of the European Court of Human Rights is seen in Strasbourg, France
The building of the European Court of Human Rights is seen in Strasbourg, France - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.01.2022
STRASBOURG (Sputnik) – Ukraine's lawsuit stipulating violations by Moscow of the Convention on Human Rights while taking out children from the breakaway region of Donbass in 2014 should be dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as groundless and unacceptable, Russia’s representative to ECHR Mikhail Vinogradov said on Wednesday.
Ukraine lodged a complaint with the Strasbourg-based court in 2014, claiming that the children were abducted in three groups between June and August 2014 in eastern Ukraine and temporarily transferred to Russia. Ukraine says the alleged abductions and illegal border crossings were in violation of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights.
According to him, Kiev’s complaint is unacceptable because the Ukrainian government has not used all domestic remedies to resolve the issue, he told the court.
Besides, the presented evidence and facts of the case do not prove violations of the Convention since children were relocated from Donbas to Russia voluntarily accompanied by adults for the sake of their safety, Vinogradov said. In this regard, the claim is not subject to consideration on the merits in the ECHR, he noted.
According to the Russian envoy, Ukraine has failed to provide any factual examples of violations of the right to education in its complaint against Russia to the ECHR. Kiev showed no examples of teachers being persecuted over their professional activities or students being harassed, just like there was no proof that educational facilities had been closed.

The envoy also noted that the part of the claim concerning alleged violations of the right of residents of Donbass to participate in presidential election does not fall under the ratione materae criteria of the Convention on Human Rights and is therefore unacceptable.
Mr Vinogradov also said that Ukraine’s suit with the ECHR against Russia on alleged forced labour in the breakaway Ukrainian region of Donbass should not be accepted as it concerns the local militia, not the Russian government. The Ukrainian suit cited the engaging of so-called prisoners of war to forced labour by the Donbass militia, not Moscow, the envoy said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.11.2021
Lavrov Believes Kiev Trying to Trigger Response From Donbass Militia, Get Russia Involved
He further stressed that Ukraine failed to provide any concrete evidence that would prove that forced labour in Donbass was an administrative practice, therefore, providing no grounds to accuse Russia of violation of Article 4 of the Convention on Human Rights. Russia rejects the allegation, Vinogradov said, adding that the suit must be dismissed.
Kiev's statements about Donbas residents obtaining Russian passports do not stand any criticism, Mikhail Vinogradov said, noting that Hungary and Romania are actively granting citizenship to residents of Ukraine. Commenting on the complaints alleging that administrative appointments in certain regions of Donbass are carried out with the consent of the Russian authorities, he said that there is no evidence, while there are facts that the Ukrainian government bodies are formed with the active participation of the so-called "external experts" from the EU and the US.

The indication by the Ukrainian authorities of the fact that a significant number of Donbass residents has acquired Russian citizenship should also, apparently, indicate the effective control of Romania and Hungary over certain regions of Ukraine, he said, noting that these states are actively granting their citizenship to Ukrainian residents.
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