Europe will create records of Russia’s war crimes and the damage it caused to Ukraine
The leaders of 46 countries, gathered on Tuesday for a two-day summit of the Council of Europe, intend to create a system that will hold Russia accountable for war crimes and destruction in Ukraine. By the end of the meeting in Reykjavik, its participants want to formulate the basic rules for maintaining two relevant registers, the Associated Press reports.
The main objective of the summit of the main European human rights organization will be to develop legislative and legal mechanisms by which Russia should be held accountable for unleashing the war of conquest and the consequences of its actions. Europe hopes that the United States, present at the summit as an observer, will support this initiative.
A single register will contain all cases of damage caused to Ukraine by Russia, thanks to which it will be possible to submit claims for monetary compensation to Moscow in the future. As of February 2023, losses in infrastructure alone are estimated at $143.8 billion. In addition, at least 109 large and medium-sized enterprises suffered direct losses of $13 billion. as a result of the invasion in 2022 (in both cases – calculations of the Kiev School of Economics).
In addition, it is to keep records of war crimes (various organizations are already actively involved in this – from the Ukrainian one to the UN and the International Criminal Court in The Hague). This is necessary for the tribunal, the creation of which will be discussed at the summit. The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said:
Von der Leyen announced at the end of last year preparations for the establishment of a tribunal under the auspices of the United Nations to investigate Russia’s war crimes. And in February, the Hague announced the creation of an international center to coordinate the collection of evidence to charge Russia with the crime of aggression.
A special tribunal is needed to hold senior officials accountable for the very outbreak of war (the so-called crime of aggression), and not just for specific crimes committed in the course of hostilities.