Mr. Prosecutor General!
Good afternoon, dear colleagues, welcome to this format.
Dear Ursula, dear colleagues!
Thank you for the opportunity to work for justice and fairness today!
Seventy-eight years ago, Europe was given perhaps the most important chance in its long history - a chance for a sustainable and truly lasting peace.
What was this chance about?
Not only about countries' renunciation of aggression, not only about political instruments that united Europe - once warring states - to prevent any new steps towards aggression, any new aggression... But also about punishment. Punishment for the aggression that caused the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century - we all understand that this is the Second World War.
The main culprit of that catastrophe did not make it to the Tribunal. He carried out an obvious sentence for himself in the bunker.
But his accomplices - including the key figures of the aggression - were punished in the legal sphere. They were punished the way humanity punishes any criminals in a civilized manner - through prosecution, trial, sentence and its implementation. And this has served as a strong pillar of peace - a concrete example of how peace violators were punished by the whole world. Civilized punishment!
Unfortunately, sixty-eight years after the verdict of the Nuremberg Trials, Europe again felt the blow of aggression... It saw that a regime had emerged that simply does not believe that the world is capable of punishing peace violators. Russia started its aggression against Ukraine in 2014 and made it full-scale in 2022, because the Russian leadership believed that Europe had left history to historians and that the people and politicians of Europe would not dare to really defend their values, would not dare to fight against the new aggression in the way that was necessary to defend themselves.
We have to prove that the aggressor was wrong in everything! And not only in his military calculations, not only in the way he assessed our leadership, our state and economic systems. But also in the way he assessed our attitude to justice.
Our values are real to us. And we will defend them! This means that we will do everything possible to ensure that the main perpetrator of this aggression and all his accomplices are brought to justice for everything they have done - without exception!
First of all, this concerns the crime of aggression. This crime of Russia has brought the 21st century to the brink of global catastrophe as well. This crime calls for justice.
And our justice must be swifter than their despair in their bunkers, which is already evident.
Our justice must prove international unity in fairness, as it was in Nuremberg. Unfortunately, the International Criminal Court, whose work we fully support, does not have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. That is why the Tribunal is needed - to complement the global legal system. I am pleased to announce that our joint group working to punish the aggressor - our Core Group - already includes thirty-seven states. And this number will continue to grow - we are constantly working to make our coalition of defenders of justice bigger.
Let me remind you that only four states initially agreed to establish the Nuremberg Tribunal. In total, twenty-four states joined the coalition for the sake of the Tribunal. We are much more numerous now, and not only European countries are among us. Our joint work proves that striving for justice is global.
And this summer, the International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Russian Aggression will start its work in The Hague. This will be a practical step in the processing of evidence for the Tribunal. So, we are moving forward, moving step by step.
We can discuss what the model of the Special Tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine should be in order to achieve the main goal – justice. We can talk about the order of steps that will lead to the launch of the Tribunal... We are democratic nations after all, so discussions and coordination are normal for us. But once again I emphasize that this must be a Tribunal.
I am glad that we have an absolutely clear agreement that the responsibility of the aggressor for the crime must be inevitable. And it is the responsibility of the aggressor for the crime of aggression.
On May 9, 1945, after the surrender of Nazi aggression on May 8, the world was already actively moving towards justice for the aggressor. On May 9 this year, our movement is similar - even more active, even more numerous, and I want to thank all of you for that! I am grateful to each and every one of you who is approaching the launch of the Special Tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine!
May the chance of our Europe and the world for a sustainable and truly lasting peace without aggression be realized!
Thank you very much!
Glory to Ukraine!