Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania urge the European Union to create a special tribunal to hear Russian war crime in Ukraine.
The foreign ministers of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia released a joint statement on Monday, October 17, in advance of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, urging the organization to support Ukraine in creating a Special Tribunal to investigate into Russia’s aggression against its neighbor. It was shared in a tweet by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
“I requested a Special Tribunal on Russia along with my Latvian and Estonian colleagues. The EU might take the initiative to establish it as a geopolitical Union and aid in closing the gap in international law. The scale of Russia’s war crimes is too massive for the ICC to manage”, according to Gabrielius Landsbergis, the foreign minister of Lithuania.
The joint statement from the three top diplomats states, “This tribunal would probe the crime of aggression, fill in the existing jurisdictional loophole, and ensure Russia’s culpability towards Ukraine.”
The three ministers assert that impunity for the acts that most flagrantly breach the rules-based international order – genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression – is essential to its survival. “The recent targeted attacks on houses, schools, playgrounds, and other civilian facilities in Ukraine are merely the most recent incident in Russia’s ongoing, unprovoked terror campaign against the Ukrainian people. The EU must take action to make sure that the pursuit of justice and accountability for Russia’s horrifying atrocities in Ukraine is at the forefront of our policy while its savage attack against Ukraine continues.
They point out that there isn’t now a court or tribunal at an international level that could hold Russia’s senior political and military officials accountable for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine. They contend that in order to “close this jurisdictional loophole,” a Special Tribunal for the Punishment of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine must be established, with the EU and its allies “must be at the core of this effort.”
The three ministers think that the Special Tribunal’s creation would enhance the ICC’s function. They emphasize that the Special Tribunal’s primary role would be the act of aggression, “while the ICC would prosecute individuals for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.”
The united statement states that “the major masterminds, instigators and facilitators of this heinous aggression cannot escape prosecution simply because there is a gap in the international criminal jurisdiction.”