EU backs International Criminal Court investigation into situation in Ukraine

EU member states have noted the arrest warrants that were issued by the International Criminal Court last week against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the alleged war crime of unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation, a statement by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU said on March 20.

“While observing that this is an important step for accountability in Ukraine, EU member states emphasised the ICC’s independence and integrity,” said the statement, issued on behalf of EU justice ministers.

EU justice ministers attended a justice ministers conference in London with the objective of supporting the ICC and its investigation into the situation in Ukraine

The statement said that at the beginning of March 2022, less than a week after Russia’s full-scale invasion, all EU member states, among many other states, referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC prosecutor.

Since then, the EU member states have worked together in order to strengthen the ICC and meet the needs of the Ukrainian authorities, the statement said.

The collective response from the EU Member States has been substantial, with over 40 experts seconded to the office of the ICC prosecutor and over eight million euro in additional funds provided. EU member states have also provided forensic support to the ICC and the Ukrainian authorities by channelling experts through the ICC’s forensic rotation model.

“At today’s conference, the EU member states reiterated their strong support for the ICC,” the statement said.

“In addition to the substantial contributions already provided, the EU member states announced additional financial support and additional human resources to strengthen the work of the ICC.”

The EU member states will continue their efforts to strengthen the EU’s support to the ICC and to ensure accountability for the core international crimes committed in Ukraine, the statement said.

(Photo: International Criminal Court)

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