VILNIUS – Russia must be held accountable for forcible deportation of children from occupied Ukrainian territories, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said in his address delivered at the UN Transforming Education Summit on Monday.
“Ukrainian teachers are pressured to use the Russian language and Russian curriculum. The Ukrainian children are being forcibly deported to Russia for adoption by Russian families. Russia must be held accountable for these deplorable actions,” he said in the address published by the presidential office.
At the summit, Nauseda also stressed the goal of ensuring quality education for all children, discussed the transformation of education in the face of global change and the challenges of education in the context of war.
The Lithuanian leader emphasized the importance of providing educational opportunities for Ukrainian children in their host countries, and the need to start thinking about the restoration of proper schooling in Ukraine.
He pointed out that that since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine Lithuania had sheltered more than 65,000 Ukrainian refugees, including more than 24,000 children.
In his address, Nauseda said that a Ukrainian Center had been opened in Vilnius in order to serve the social, cultural and educational needs of Ukrainians. He also stressed that Lithuanian state and municipal educational institutions were providing quality education and educational support for Ukrainian children.
The Lithuanian president added that Lithuania would help Ukraine to rebuild schools and kindergartens destroyed during the war.
Nauseda is currently visiting the United States and will deliver an address to global leaders at the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly later on Tuesday.
He will also participate in a reception hosted by US President Joe Biden, meet with the leaders of European, Asian and African countries as well as the chairperson of the African Union.