The main investigative department of the Russian Investigative Committee has started a preliminary inquiry into reports on the removal of children from Russian families in Norway, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
"If signs of crime are uncovered in actions in relation to Russian children, the Russian Investigative Committee will open a criminal case based on the inquiry results," Markin said.
Media outlets reported earlier on Saturday that the Norwegian Child Welfare Service had taken a six-year-old girl away from a Russian family; not long before, a five-year-old boy had been separated from his Russian parents from the Pskov region living in Norway, the Investigative Committee said. "In each case, children were taken away from their parents on farfetched pretexts and placed in foster families," it said.
"The preliminary inquiry is intended to determine the circumstances of the gross violation of the rights of Russian children involving their obviously unlawful transfer to foster families and to legally evaluate the officials' actions that significantly violated rights and legitimate interests of Russian citizens," Markin said.
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