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Tribunal for Russian crimes needed to avoid further atrocities in Europe, Ukrainian MP says

A Ukrainian deputy warned that delaying justice could lead to future aggressions in other countries, emphasizing the urgency of creating a Special International Tribunal now.
The International Court of Justice in Hague. Credit: The United Nations
Tribunal for Russian crimes needed to avoid further atrocities in Europe, Ukrainian MP says

Oleksandr Kachura, a Ukrainian deputy, said lifting immunity from the Russian president, prime minister, and foreign minister is currently key to the creation of a Special International Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression, according to UkrInform.

Kyiv, together with its partners, is pushing for the establishment of a tribunal for Russia to hold it accountable for crimes committed in Ukraine. The tribunal’s creation has been supported by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and different countries.

“The key issue today is immunity. The thing is, our partners seem ready to set up a tribunal, but they say that international law grants immunity to the trio: the president, the prime minister, and the foreign minister. For us, this is unacceptable,” said the deputy.

Kachura is a member of the working group on the creation of the international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. The official said that Western partners advise judging Russia’s top leadership when they lose their positions or when a new government is elected, and they might be handed over to justice.

“If today the European countries, the whole Western world, delay the creation of the special tribunal, it will have to be set up not to punish the crime of aggression in Ukraine, but to punish the crimes of aggression in Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania. The Russians do not hide their plans and speak about them openly,” the deputy noted.

He emphasized that there is currently political understanding in the West that the tribunal needs to be set up.

Kachura pointed out that to prosecute the Russian leadership for the crime of aggression, an international tribunal must be created because a hybrid tribunal will be based on national legislation, and Ukrainian legislation prohibits the creation of special courts.

When asked why Ukraine cannot use its national judicial system to prosecute the Russian leadership, he replied that “this is a parallel process.”

Oleksandr Kachura added that the seventh point of President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula specifically points to the just punishment of the aggressor states, which involves the creation of a special tribunal.

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