As a first step toward putting Russia’s leadership on trial, the EU’s executive said it was considering establishing an “international prosecution office” to investigate the alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
The purpose is to overcome the problem that Russia cannot be prosecuted for the crime of aggression by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has launched an inquiry into the conflict.
In November, the European Commission proposed to create a specialized tribunal to target the leadership in Moscow. Still, the group has yet to agree on its creation.
Germany has become the latest European country to back Ukraine’s calls for a special court to hold top Kremlin officials accountable for the war against Ukraine.
The EU wants a special court to try Russia for war crimes in Ukraine
In late November, the European Commission announced intentions to establish a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
Legal and political issues
According to EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, “difficult legal and political concerns” still need to be discussed further between EU member states and international partners, Euractiv reported.
“Before discussions on a special tribunal could gather sufficient consensus and support at the international level, an investigation mechanism could first be considered,” Reynders declared.
“The European Commission is considering establishing an international prosecution office to begin investigations into the crime of aggression to preserve and save evidence for future prosecutions.”
Mr. Reynders stated that conversations were taking place with Ukrainian authorities, the ICC, and the EU judicial cooperation agency Eurojust regarding “legal and security considerations” related to the plan.
EU legislators meeting in Strasbourg are expected to support a non-binding resolution calling for the tribunal’s creation.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the EU lawmakers to take action, which might increase pressure on nations throughout the EU to accept the measure.
“There will be no impunity for Russia’s political and military elites. “They must be held accountable,” Mr. Kuleba wrote on Twitter.