US reviewing Ukraine's initiative to create special Russian aggression tribunal

US reviewing Ukraine's initiative to create special Russian aggression tribunal

The United States continues to participate in international discussions and review the possibility of implementing the Ukrainian initiative to establish a special international tribunal to punish Russia for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

“On the [Russian] aggression tribunal idea, there are a number of proposals that are floating around as to how this tribunal might be created.  One of them would be by way of a bilateral treaty between the United Nations and Ukraine that would be blessed by the General Assembly,” U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack told a briefing Monday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

The Ambassador added that the Security Council was foreclosed in this regard because Russia would exercise its veto, which it is entitled to as a permanent member of the Security Council. Therefore, the Ukrainian side is looking for other potential modalities, including through the UN General Assembly.

“The U.S. at the moment, we have been focused on supporting existing institutions that seem that they are already operational and seem most likely to be able to accord accountability here.  But we’re still reviewing the various proposals and talking with friends and allies to gather everyone’s perspectives on this,” the official said.

In response to Ukrinform's request to comment on these discussions in more detail, Schaack said that the main conversations were happening at the UN Headquarters in New York but, apparently, in capitals across Europe as well.

“What we’re seeing is that a number of the neighboring states and the Baltic states are quite supportive as well of this,” the diplomat noted in the context of the discussion of the Ukrainian initiative.

She also expressed her belief that some of the larger European states “are more cautious and are continuing to examine various proposals and think through some of the legal and policy issues.”

Summing up, Van Schaack said that the conversations were ongoing and “eventually will, I’m sure, result in a particular path forward.”

As reported, on September 26, Ukraine presented the project of a special tribunal on the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine to the ambassadors of 30 countries. At the same time, it was explained that the existing international legal instruments are not enough and that precisely this international mechanism is needed.


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