EU proposes creating specialized court to investigate Russia's crime of aggression against Ukraine - von der Leyen

EU proposes creating specialized court to investigate Russia's crime of aggression against Ukraine - von der Leyen

The European Commission proposes creating a UN court to investigate Russia's crime of aggression against Ukraine and working out a legal mechanism for using blocked Russian funds to pay compensation to Ukraine for the damage caused, as well as to spend these funds on the reconstruction of the country.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this on Twitter on November 30, Ukrinform reports.

"Russia must pay for its horrific crimes. We will work with the ICC and help set up a specialized court to try Russia's crimes. With our partners, we will make sure that Russia pays for the devastation it caused, with the frozen funds of oligarchs and assets of its central bank," she wrote.

In a video address, also posted on her Twitter account, von der Leyen spoke in more detail about the intentions of the European Commission regarding actions to hold Russia accountable for its war of aggression against Ukraine. The text version of the address has been published on the website of the European Commission.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine has brought death, devastation and unspeakable suffering. We all remember the horrors of Bucha. First, Russia must pay for its horrific crimes, including for its crime of aggression against a sovereign state. This is why, while continuing to support the International Criminal Court, we are proposing to set up a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia's crime of aggression. We are ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialized court," von der Leyen said.

In the second part of her address, she noted that Russia must also pay financially for the devastation that it caused. The damage suffered by Ukraine is estimated at EUR 600 billion. Russia and its oligarchs have to compensate Ukraine for the damage and cover the costs for rebuilding the country.

"And we have the means to make Russia pay. We have blocked 300 billion euros of the Russian Central Bank reserves and we have frozen 19 billion euros of Russian oligarchs' money. In the short term, we could create, with our partners, a structure to manage these funds and invest them. We would then use the proceeds for Ukraine. And once the sanctions are lifted, these funds should be used so that Russia pays full compensation for the damages caused to Ukraine," von der Leyen said.

She noted that the EU would work on an international agreement with its partners to make this possible.

"And together, we can find legal ways to get to it. Russia's horrific crimes will not go unpunished," she added.

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