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The Moldovan Parliament building in the capital Chisinau on July 22, 2022. (Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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The Moldovan Parliament adopted a declaration on May 30 condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine as genocide, referring to the forced deportation of Ukrainian children.

At least 19,500 Ukrainian children have been confirmed as abducted by Russia since the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and less than 400 have been brought home, according to the Ukrainian government's Children of War database.

Sixty members of parliament, including 59 from the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), voted in favor of the declaration. Parties with close ties with Moscow refused to participate in the vote.

"By this resolution, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova declares that the denial of the existence of the Ukrainian nation, as well as all inhumane policies pursued by the Russian Federation against the children of Ukraine, fall under the definition of genocide, by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide," Deputy Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament Doina Gherman said.

Regina Apostolova, a lawmaker from the opposition Sor party, accused President Maia Sandu's Party of Action and Solidarity of "double standards," saying the chamber should also condemn the suffering of children in the former Yugoslavia.

Lawmaker Radu Marian of the Party of Action and Solidarity rejected the opposition's objections.

"These (Ukrainians) are our neighbors. Thousands of Ukrainian children, refugee children, have been placed here (in Moldova)," Marian said.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova and Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 17, 2023, over the deportation of Ukrainian children.

The 123 member states of the ICC are required to arrest Putin if he steps foot on their territory.

Putin previously praised Lvova-Belova for her work overseeing the deportation of Ukrainian children, portraying it as a so-called "humanitarian effort" to "protect Russian citizens."

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