European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders notes the importance of Ukraine's ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to strengthen the mechanism for bringing accountability for war crimes, and also declares support for the creation of a register of damage caused by Russian aggression for subsequent reparations.
Speaking online at the United For Justice second international conference in Bucha dedicated to the crimes of genocide Reynders said it is needed to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice. In this fight against impunity, the EU states must stand shoulder to shoulder and respect the principle of complementarity, he said.
Reynders said when it comes to preventing impunity for war crimes, in particular the deportation of more than 20,000 children, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide, the ICC remains the key agency that can investigate and prosecute those responsible.
The European Commissioner said the EU must ensure that the Ukrainian prosecution authorities are equipped as well as possible to carry out such work. He said the Office of the Commissioner has already provided the Prosecutor General's Office with the necessary equipment to ensure such activities.
He also said he continues to advocate the need to open national criminal proceedings on Russia's war crimes by the EU countries – according to the principles of individual or universal jurisdiction.
Reynders said some 14 countries are already investigating their national criminal cases regarding Russian aggression against Ukraine.
He said the Commission has analyzed the need to amend the Rome Statute in order to expand the jurisdiction of the ICC to crimes of aggression, and at the same time we are considering the possibility of introducing a mechanism for prosecution, possibly in the form of a special tribunal for crimes of aggression, which would allow respect for the mandate of the ICC.
At the same time, the European Commissioner said it is important that Ukraine ratifies the Rome Statute, as this will strengthen the mechanism for bringing to justice for crimes against these and future generations of Ukrainians.
Speaking about the importance of paying Russian reparations, Reynders said forcing Russia to pay for the damage it has caused remains one of the priorities of the European Commission. He supported the creation of an international register of claims to record evidence from citizens and the Ukrainian state regarding the losses that have been caused by Russian aggression.
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