PACE President Tiny Kox has pledged that the Parliamentary Assembly will do everything in its power to ensure accountability for the crimes committed during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, declaring: “Justice will be done and delivered, whatever it takes.” Speaking by teleconference at the International Bucha Summit – held to mark one year since the liberation of the Ukrainian town where evidence emerged of brutal Russian war crimes – the President urged states and organisations, including the UN General Assembly, to endorse the creation of an ad hoc criminal tribunal to prosecute Russian leaders for the crime of aggression.
PACE was the first international organisation to call for the creation of such a tribunal, Mr Kox pointed out, and had since unanimously presented a concrete plan to prosecute Russian and Belarusian political and military leaders at The Hague who “planned, prepared, initiated or executed” Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “Without their decision to wage this war of aggression, the atrocities that flow from it, as well as the death, destruction and damage resulting from the war, would not have occurred,” the President said.
Meanwhile, the Council of Europe was also working hard to establish a special register “to record and document evidence and claims of damage, loss or injury as a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine”, as a step towards a mechanism to compensate Ukrainians for this damage. The prosecution of all those responsible for crimes, “from the soldier, the commander and the financer, to the President, Government and Parliament of the aggressor State”, was a solemn promise of the international community, he concluded.