Kuleba on Difficulties around Tribunal for Putin and Fellow War Criminals

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

According to Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the discussion among democratic countries about a tribunal to punish the leadership of the Russian Federation for war crimes in Ukraine is not easy due to the symbolic weight of such processes.

"I won't hide it, they [the discussions] feel terrible here for various reasons. And for political reasons, because since 1945 there have been only two such cases – Nuremberg and the trial of Milosevic – when a European leader was sued for crimes during the war. And the practice of getting a conviction for the leader of another country, let's say, is very fragile," Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Ukrinform.

Another reason is that some see it as an inappropriate alternative to the International Criminal Court.

"It is written in its [the ICC’s] statute that aggression is one of the crimes which it can adjudicate. But in practice, purely for legal reasons, the article cannot be applied specifically to the case of Ukraine and Russia.

Our partners say: ‘There is no need to create a Tribunal, because we have the International Criminal Court (ICC), we can’t create an alternative to it.’ And we say: ‘Wait, what is more important – the interests of the ICC, which does not want any temporary alternatives for itself, or justice, for the sake of which the ICC exists?’ Here they are in a stupor, because they are both for justice and for the IСС. In short, there is a problem of ‘institutional selfishness’ both in the issue of the International Criminal Court and in the issue of the creation of a special tribunal," the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained.

He added that Ukraine continues to convince its partners that these efforts have a chance of success.

Dmytro Kuleba spoke earlier about the five main parameters that Ukraine suggests using as the foundations of the future tribunal.

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