While continuing to support the International Criminal Court, the European Commission (EC) is proposing to set up a specialised court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression, EC President Ursula von der Leyen said on November 30.
It is estimated that more than 20 000 civilians and 100 000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed or wounded so far, Von der Leyen said in a statement issued by the EC.
First, Russia must pay for its horrific crimes, including for its crime of aggression against a sovereign state, she said.
“We are ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialised court,” Von der Leyen said.
Secondly, Russia must also pay financially for the devastation that it caused, she said.
Von der Leyen said that the damage suffered by Ukraine is estimated at 600 billion euro.
Russia and its oligarchs have to compensate Ukraine for the damage and cover the costs for rebuilding the country, she said.
“And we have the means to make Russia pay. We have blocked 300 billion euro of the Russian Central Bank reserves and we have frozen 19 billion euro of Russian oligarchs’ money,” Von der Leyen said.
“In the short term, we could create, with our partners, a structure to manage these funds and invest them. We would then use the proceeds for Ukraine.”
Once the sanctions are lifted, these funds should be used so that Russia pays full compensation for the damages caused to Ukraine, she said.
“We will work on an international agreement with our partners to make this possible. And together, we can find legal ways to get to it.
“Russia’s horrific crimes will not go unpunished,” Von der Leyen said.
(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)
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