Ukraine is actively cooperating with the International Criminal Court to hold Russian criminals to account and also calling on all 123 ICC member states to comply with the demand for the arrest of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and his commissioner for children’s rights.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said this at the UN Headquarters in New York during a ministerial round table discussion dedicated to the strategic role of the ICC for the next decade.

“We are all witnessing countless examples of crimes that fall squarely within the jurisdiction of the ICC these days, as Ukraine faces the greatest aggression since World War II,” he noted.

The minister stressed that Ukraine appreciated the ICC’s involvement in investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed by Russians in our country.

“Mariupol, Bucha, Hostomel, Borodianka, and Izium. The names of those once quiet and peaceful suburbs and towns are now known all over the world as a result of Russian atrocities committed there. We remain convinced that there can be no lasting peace until justice is established,” Kuleba underscored.

As the minister noted, the restoration of justice is one of the important elements of the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, which provides for the restoration of a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine, and also offers a strategic vision of a safe future for Ukraine and the world.

“Justice will allow to prevent future crimes. Instead, impunity, as we all know, encourages crime. We have no moral right to allow it after thousands of innocent Ukrainians suffered from Russian aggression. All the guilty must be brought to justice, without exception,” Kuleba said.

The minister called the ICC’s decision to issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova for the war crime of unlawful deportation of more than 19,000 Ukrainian children from occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation a watershed moment. 

“We urge all 123 countries that are members of the International Criminal Court and have ratified the Rome Statute to strictly comply with the Court’s demand that Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova be arrested,” the minister stressed.

Kuleba also called on the ICC to step up efforts and issue new arrest warrants over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed by the Russians in the territory of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin

The minister also noted that, unfortunately, the ICC lacks jurisdiction over the crime of aggression against Ukraine. For this reason, Ukraine proposed to international partners the establishment of the Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

Kuleba stressed that Ukraine’s primary task is to create a tribunal that will allow it to conduct an investigation and hold the higher political and military leadership of the Russian Federation to account for committing the crime of aggression. “The creation of the Special Tribunal will not impede in any way, but on the contrary, it will complement the important efforts of the ICC to achieve justice,” the minister said.

Natalia Tolub

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