The European Parliament has approved a resolution calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, for the deportation of Ukrainian children.
This is stated in the resolution on EU relations with Belarus adopted during the plenary session of the European Parliament.
The European Parliament condemned the illegal transfer of more than 2,150 children, including orphans, from the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine to so-called “recreational camps” in Belarus, where they are subjected to russification.
The European Parliament supported the investigation by the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office into the role of Belarus in the forced deportations and believes that the actions of Lukashenko and his regime may also constitute a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Thus, the European Parliament “considers Lukashenko to be as responsible for these war crimes as Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, and therefore calls on the ICC to consider issuing a similar international arrest warrant for Lukashenko”.
The document emphasises that “a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression committed by Russia against Ukraine should have jurisdiction to investigate the actions of not only Putin and the Russian political and military leadership but also the Belarusian leadership”.
The resolution calls on the EU institutions and Member States to take all necessary measures to ensure the prosecution of Belarusian officials involved in the crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed against Ukraine.
“The European Parliament… holds Lukashenko responsible for these war crimes, as well as Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, and calls on the ICC to issue a similar international arrest warrant for Lukashenko; calls on the EU Council to extend the list of persons subject to EU sanctions to include those involved in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus,” the resolution reads.
The MEPs also called on the EU Council and the EU High Representative to consider additional measures against the Lukashenko regime, in addition to the sanctions already imposed, and to develop a broad and long-term approach to relations with Belarus in close cooperation with the EU’s international partners.
In June, the Lithuanian Prosecutor’s Office began investigating the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus.
Ukraine is investigating Belarus’s involvement in the forced removal of children from the Russian-occupied territories.