Zelensky speaks in The Hague

Zelensky speaks in The Hague

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke before representatives of the public, political and expert circles of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and international institutions located in The Hague.

His speech was streamed live by the President’s Office.

"First of all, I would like to thank you for your attention and respect for Ukraine. This is respect and attention from people who know and value freedom, who do not tolerate tyranny just as we do not tolerate it in Ukraine," Zelensky said in his opening remarks.

The President emphasized the importance of holding Vladimir Putin to account for the war against Ukraine and the crimes committed.

"We want to see him [Putin] in The Hague. The one who deserves to be convicted of criminal acts. And it must be done here, in the capital of international law. I'm sure it will happen when we win. And we will win!" Zelensky said.

The President called on the world to transform the experience of the Nuremberg trials into a new international tribunal to prosecute Russia because all other options would be a manifestation of weakness.

"The one and only crime of Russia led to the rest of the crimes: the crime of aggression. This is the primary crime, the beginning of evil. There must be accountability for this crime. And this can only be achieved through the tribunal... We must transform the experience of the Nuremberg trials into new operational rules. And that is why we advocate the creation of such a tribunal. We want to continue the tradition of mandatory punishment for such crimes as a guarantee of non-repetition of such aggression," Zelensky said.

According to the President, there is no need to look for excuses and compromises, but there is a need to act boldly and decisively in order to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.

According to Zelensky, the creation of a comprehensive international tribunal today is extremely important for Ukraine, and for the whole world, all peoples for the sake of justice: "For the sake of children and the future, we cannot give up the ideas of such a tribunal. Because everything else will be a weakness."

"I want to appeal to the world: there is no need to be afraid. The aggressor must feel the full justice directed against it. This is our historical responsibility. The world must feel completely safe. The stability of peace arises when full-fledged justice is achieved, including the verdict against the aggressor," he emphasized.

The President insists on the need to ensure real peace in Ukraine and real accountability for Russian criminals, not its hybrid forms.

"I am very grateful to you and the Netherlands for every weapon delivered to Ukraine, for everything that helps us maintain our defense forces and allows us to prepare for our active actions. But we know that lasting peace after victory can be achieved only thanks to strong parties, strong values: this is freedom, this is the rule of law, this is the need to ensure comprehensive justice, not some hybrid substitutes for this. We cannot allow a hybrid immunity, a hybrid peace associated with the suspension of military operations at the front. But real peace, real justice, real accountability are exactly what we need now, not hybrid forms," the Head of State emphasized.

Zelensky emphasized that impunity breeds aggression and it is necessary to stop the war of aggression as such: "We must stop the crime of aggression which sometimes appears in the minds of those who got used to impunity. It is impunity that opens the door to aggression. If we look at any war of aggression in history, we will see that they have one thing in common: those who started that war did not believe that they would ever be held accountable for what they had done, that they would be held liable for the war."

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