President of Ukraine

The creation of a tribunal on the crime of aggression is a matter of maturity for the entire civilized world - Deputy Head of the President's Office at the YES meeting

11 September 2022 - 12:34

The creation of a tribunal on the crime of aggression is a matter not of the war in Ukraine, but of the maturity of the entire civilized world, which it lacked in 2008, when Russia came with aggression to Georgia, and in 2014, when the Russian Federation came to Crimea and Donbas. This was stated by Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Smyrnov during the panel discussion "Crime and Punishment - War Crimes, Genocide and Tribunal" at the 17th Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting.

"I am deeply convinced that our competent authorities, the Prosecutor General, investigative bodies will bring every case of every war crime to its logical conclusion. The question that remains on the table all over the planet is the question of the courage to call international criminals international criminals. Before the mad dictators come with a territorial claim to each of your countries," explained the Deputy Head of the President's Office.

According to him, Ukraine is confident that there is currently no alternative to the special tribunal.

"We understand that we do not in any way overlap with the mandate and jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. We ask the world to create a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression. We urge the world not to be afraid to call a spade a spade. The crime of aggression is very easy to prove. All facts are documented both by Ukraine and international partners. The circle of people involved, in addition to Putin, is known to everyone. The proof mechanism is as simple as possible. There is no need to wait until the end of the war and the victory of Ukraine. It must be done today and now," Andriy Smyrnov stressed.

The creation of the international tribunal was supported by President of Latvia Egils Levits. "The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court are already working on the crime of genocide. And Latvia supported this lawsuit against Russia. But we need a special tribunal that will make it possible to hold the Russian leadership accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. There are already precedents of such tribunals in the world: Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Sierra Leone. The most realistic way to create such a tribunal, in my opinion, is to sign an international treaty between the countries that support this idea. We are ready to sign such a treaty," said Egils Levits.

Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin stated that the tribunal over the Russian leadership is not just a wish of the political leadership of Ukraine, but a demand of the entire Ukrainian society.

"The fact that Russia committed a crime of aggression against Ukraine cannot be disputed. The aggressor must be punished. Countries that do not support the idea of the tribunal probably hope for a post-war normalization of relations with Russia. But I declare with confidence that Ukrainians will not forgive this," said Andriy Kostin.

British barrister, prosecutor in the case of Slobodan Milošević, Geoffrey Nice, noted that Ukrainians became victims of a terrible crime - the aggression of the Russian Federation.

“And like any victim, they have every right to demand justice. Therefore, it is our duty as judges, barristers and defenders of justice in all its manifestations to meet their demand. The fact that the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, unfortunately, does not extend to crimes of aggression is an absurdity, a relic of the past. However, this should not prevent the international community from fully holding Putin accountable. In my opinion, the creation of a special tribunal is the right decision. And I am sure that the whole world will support that," Geoffrey Nice said.