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EU wants to sanction Russians involved in child abductions, Dutch PM says

FILE PHOTO: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gestures as he leaves after an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium March 24, 2023. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS

The European Union is looking to broaden sanctions against Russia to target people involved in the abduction of children from Ukraine, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday.

"The eleventh package of sanctions we are working on includes the option to go after those responsible for child abductions," Rutte said at a joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in The Hague.

"That's something we are working on. The other point of focus is sanction circumvention. Making it possible to go after the people responsible."

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in March against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.

The ICC at the time said those children had been taken from orphanages and children’s homes to Russia, with many alleged to have been given up for adoption there.

Moscow has repeatedly denied these accusations.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bart Meijer; Editing by Chris Reese and Deepa Babington)

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