Austrian official reportedly sent two Ukrainian teenagers to Moscow, prompting investigation

16 January, 12:25 PM
Austria (Photo:Fachdozent / Pixabay)

Austria (Photo:Fachdozent / Pixabay)

The Austrian authorities are investigating the actions of an official from the state of Tyrol who officially “repatriated” two Ukrainian teenagers to Moscow, allegedly for a “family reunion” – without informing Ukrainian diplomats, Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported on Jan. 15.

“According to the information currently available to us, an employee of the European Ombudsman Institute, who is also employed by the Tyrolean Provincial Ombudsman’s Office, was involved in the proceedings,” senior Austrian civil servant, Herbert Forster, said.

“The man apparently acted at the request of his Russian ombudsman colleague.”

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The Ukrainian embassy informed Tyrolean authorities on Jan. 12 that the two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, had been removed from an Austrian youth institution where they were staying, without notification, Der Standard wrote.

According to Forster, the Russian embassy informed the official that the teenagers’ mother was in Moscow. However, it is unknown if the teenagers went by their own free will there or were forced to go there.

"According to current knowledge, the actions of the employee involved were a solo effort and were not coordinated with the state of Tyrol, nor was the state of Tyrol involved in the shipment (of the teenagers)," Forster added.

He said an internal investigation is being conducted, and that the official in question had been temporarily suspended.

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