European Parliament demands international tribunal for Russian war criminals

The European Parliament has demanded the creation of an international tribunal that will investigate the war crimes perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine. The MEPs passed a resolution, according to which not only military commanders and soldiers shall face justice, but political leaders as well.

The MEPs appealed to the entire European Union to do whatever is necessary to prosecute Russian and Belarusian political leadership for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression.

Rasa Juknevičienė, a Lithuanian MEP, was one of those who called for punishing the decision makers, stressing that Russia has a history of aggressive behaviour dating back a long time and was never punished for its conduct, referring to the decades-long occupation of Lithuania and other Baltic countries by the Soviet Union.

Anna Fotyga, and MEP from Poland, spoke in similar terms: The text of the resolution asks the EU to support setting up a special international tribunal to punish the crime of aggression for which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction. MEPs want the EU to provide all the necessary human and budgetary resources, as well as administrative, investigative, and logistical support that will be needed to establish this tribunal.

The resolution also stresses that action must be taken swiftly to ensure that evidence related to war crimes is collected before it is destroyed in the still ongoing hostilities.

The MEPs have also welcomed the investigative team that is being set up by Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine, which is co-ordinated by the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation Eurojust, and in which the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC will also participate. The resolution encourages other EU member states to join the team.