EU to Create Special Tribunal for Russian Leadership, Baltics Demand

EU must support Kyiv in creating a special tribunal whose main responsibility would be to try the ‘crime of aggression’ in the future trial of Russia’s leadership, foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania demanded in its joint statement on Sunday.

They stressed in their letter that the EU must ensure that seeking justice and accountability for Russia’s horrific crimes – referring to the deliberate targeting of civilian homes, schools, and playgrounds, and civilian infrastructures – in Ukraine is at the center of its policy.

The ministers pointed out that there is no international court or tribunal that could bring Russia’s top political and military leadership to account for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine considering the fact that the International Criminal Court (ICC) can prosecute individuals for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

In order to fill this international criminal jurisdictional loophole, the ministers demanded that the EU leads the effort to establish a Special Tribunal for the Punishment of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine so the key masterminds, instigators, and facilitators of the murderous aggression cannot escape justice.

Ministers also demanded continued support for the investigations conducted by the ICC, Ukraine, and several other states which have described the Russian strikes as a war crime.

ICC, which plays a key role in collecting evidential materials, and identifying and punishing those responsible for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, opened its own investigation into the war in Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded but has said Kyiv must bring suspects to justice where possible.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan said last week that Kyiv could extradite Russian war crimes suspects to the ICC even though Russia is not a member but refused to say when the court expects to file its own first charges, pointing out he would wait until there’s sufficient evidence.