President of Ukraine

Ukraine held a road show regarding the creation of a special tribunal that will try the top leadership of Russia

19 December 2022 - 21:39

Ukraine held a road show regarding the creation of a special tribunal that will try the top leadership of Russia

During the road show held at the beginning of December, the Ukrainian delegation provided strong evidence that there is no alternative to the creation of a special international tribunal that will try the highest political leadership of Russia for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Deputy Head of the Office of the President Andriy Smyrnov said this at a press conference in the Office of the President.

He emphasized that the National Assembly of France supported the creation of the tribunal, and the French Foreign Ministry officially announced the start of participation in consultations on ensuring liability for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

In addition, members of the British Parliament appealed to the Prime Minister of Great Britain to create a special tribunal. Draft resolutions supporting the special tribunal have also been submitted to the US House of Representatives and the Bundestag.

"In all the crimes that were committed in Ukraine, there are several culprits. On the one hand, this is a direct perpetrator - a Russian soldier who came to Ukrainian soil to kill, or an operator of a Russian missile launcher. And on the other hand - those are the people who committed the key, original crime - the crime of aggression. We have answers to both questions: how to bring to justice the direct perpetrators of these terrible crimes and those who unleashed the aggression. But in order for world order and international law to prevail, we need the help of the countries of the world," Andriy Smyrnov said.

The Deputy Head of the President's Office stated: the crime of aggression has specific grounds of jurisdiction, separate from other crimes defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Countries that are not members of the International Criminal Court are not subject to the jurisdiction of this court in terms of investigation and prosecution for the crime of aggression, regardless of whether they are the victim or the aggressor, except in the case of an appeal by the UN Security Council. Taking into account the fact that Russia has the right to veto the decision of the UN Security Council, such an appeal is not only difficult to implement - it is impossible, and, accordingly, in this case the International Criminal Court will not have proper jurisdiction in the investigation of the crime of aggression.

"Indeed, we would like to use all the jurisdictional possibilities of the International Criminal Court, but the confirmation of the existing problem is the fact that in the eight months of the escalation of the war, we have not seen a registered proceeding regarding the crime of aggression. And this is definitely not the fault of the ICC. We are grateful to the International Criminal Court for the tireless work they do to document and investigate the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. But there is a risk that the crime of aggression will remain unpunished. And even if Ukraine quickly ratifies the Rome Statute, we objectively understand that Russia will never do this. And therefore, this will make such an investigation impossible within the mandate of the International Criminal Court," Andriy Smyrnov emphasized.

At the press conference, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anton Korynevych noted that our country continues to work within the UN in order to lay the foundation for ensuring liability for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

Also, according to him, the position of all key stakeholders who support the creation of a special tribunal and consider its establishment as a necessary element of the system of liability for serious violations of international law committed by Russia and its military in Ukraine is extremely important.

French human rights activist, Holocaust researcher, Catholic priest Patrick Desbois also took part in the press conference. He emphasized that France's decision to finally join the tribunal depends on the opinion of President Emmanuel Macron, who will listen to the people's position.

It bears reminding that, according to the results of a sociological survey conducted by the French company OpinionWay on November 16-17, 86% of French people answered affirmatively to the question "Do you think it is necessary to punish Vladimir Putin for the crime of aggression committed by Russia against Ukraine."