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Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics welcomes Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska in Riga, Latvia, on Jan. 31, 2024. (President Edgars Rinkevics/X)
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Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska arrived in Latvia on Jan. 31 for a two-day visit to meet top Latvian officials and participate in a Riga conference on the abduction and displacement of Ukrainian children by Russia.

Latvia has been one of Ukraine's staunchest allies during the full-scale war with Russia, providing extensive diplomatic, humanitarian, and military support since the start of the full-scale war.

Zelenska was welcomed by Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics, who assured her that "Latvia will continue supporting Ukraine in its work to return abducted Ukrainian children from Russia, rehabilitation of Ukrainian children, women and wounded soldiers."

The First Lady is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Evika Silina to discuss humanitarian and other support and the situation regarding Russian war crimes against Ukraine.

On Feb. 1, Rinkevics and Zelenska will open the "Russia's War on Children" conference, addressing Russia's abduction of over 19,500 Ukrainian children and possible ways to facilitate their return.

According to the Children of War database, only 388 Ukrainian children have been safely brought home so far. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the official overseeing the process, in response to the abductions.

Zelenska is actively involved in the efforts to facilitate the return of the children. Last week, she addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), calling on European parliaments "to join in order to force Russia to comply with at least the Geneva Conventions."

President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Latvia on Jan. 11 as part of his tour of the Baltic countries.

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