President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan.
The Head of State greeted Karim Khan, for whom it wasn’t the first visit to Kyiv, and thanked for the support our state has felt from the ICC since the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that the heinous crimes committed by the Russian invaders on the territory of Ukraine must not go unpunished. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.
"We heard from you signals of support and the importance of justice. It was important for us to hear this, as it meant that we are not alone in our desire to achieve justice for Ukraine. With your help, we can bring justice to Europe and the world. So that such heinous crimes could not be repeated in the future even in theory," the President said.
The Head of State emphasized the importance of opening the office of the ICC Prosecutor in Ukraine, which is to take place later, and said that our state is ready to facilitate its work in every possible way.
The President of Ukraine also spoke about the preparation of the United for Justice conference and invited the ICC Prosecutor to take part in it.
In addition, as Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized, it is extremely important for Ukrainian society, in particular for future generations, to see a response to the cases of deportation of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories of our country by Russia.
"How to return them back to their homeland, to their families? This is an extremely difficult task, and I will be very grateful for your ideas and assistance in this matter," the Head of State said.
Another important priority, he said, is to establish the real number of casualties in the territory of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops.
"We do not even know the official number of civilians killed in the territories under Russian occupation. Especially in the settlements in the east of our country. These are tens of thousands of victims. Without a doubt, this is genocide of the Ukrainian people. But for this to be recognized, we must know the fate of all people," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
For his part, the ICC Prosecutor thanked the President for his personal leadership in restoring justice for Ukraine and bringing the perpetrators of crimes to justice through legal means, even though this path is not fast.
"Because without the rule of law, we will have a society dominated by those with the biggest amount of weapons," said Karim Khan, adding that the International Criminal Court is ready for a comprehensive cooperation to restore justice.
He also emphasized the importance of cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to investigate crimes committed against Ukrainians during the full-scale aggression.
"We are ready to speed up our work for Ukrainians and people around the world to see justice as soon as possible and for the perpetrators to be punished," the ICC Prosecutor summarized.