Recreation trips of children from Belarus to Italy resumed

ROME, October 9 (Itar-Tass) -- Recreation trips of Belarussian children to Italy have been resumed. They were suspended in September after an Italian family hid a Belarussian girl and refused to allow her to return home. A TU-154 plane with 110 Belarussian children on board, aged from seven to ten, landed at the airport of Brescia, northern Italy, on Sunday. The children, mostly from the Chernobyl zone, will spend a month in Italian families.

Alessandro Giusto and Maria-Chiara Bornaccin, a family from Genoa, together with their parents were hiding, Vika Moroz, 10, a girl from Belarus, in a Catholic monastery. The girl had spent a summer vacation with them. They refused to allow the girl to return home on the grounds that she had been allegedly maltreated by older children in the children's home in Belarus, where she had lived. In response to those actions, Belarus suspended the trips of children to Italy and the adoption of children by foreigners.

On September 27 Vika Moroz was found by Italian carabineers and returned to Belarus shortly afterwards. Now she is undergoing rehabilitation under the observation of a group of doctors, including two Italian psychologists. The Belarussian authorities said they did not rule out a possibility of the adoption of Vika Moroz by the Giusto--Bornaccin family, but in considering the problem, the preference will be given to a Belarussian family. Speaking on the Italian TV, Alessandro Giusto and Maria-Chiara Bornaccin apologized before Belarussians for their emotional conduct and said they were going to submit an application for the adoption of Vika.

According to the latest reports, however, Vika Moroz will, most probably, remain in Belarus. Diego Perugini, an Italian lawyer working for the Belarussian embassy in Rome, said so in a radio interview on Sunday.

According to his information, a married couple from Minsk, which has adopted Vika's younger brother already, may adopt her too. He said he had learned about it from Alexei Skripko, Belarussian ambassador to Italy. Any decision on the problem maybe made only after the end of the course of rehabilitation Vika is undergoing now. Doctors and psychologists, including two specialists from Genoa, are pleased with the results of the rehabilitation, the Italian lawyer said. The doctors prohibited any contacts of Vika both with her playmates from the children's home and with the Giusto-Bornaccin family, who call themselves her "foster parents." Vika will not be asked any question about the alleged maltreatment in the children's home. She was allowed only to meet her younger brother, adopted by the Belarussian family.