It is necessary to review international legislation in order to bring the Russian leadership to justice effectively, — Dmytro Kuleba

10 September 2023

Current international law makes it difficult to hold the leadership of the aggressor country accountable for launching an aggressive war against Ukraine, stated Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the Annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) “The Future is Being Decided In Ukraine”, organized by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

«Objectively, we have a problem with current international law, which is unable to condemn President Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia, Minister Lavrov, and others for crimes of aggression. We must choose between lawlessness and justice. Accordingly, we must follow the path of justice and update international law», said Dmytro Kuleba.

If this is not done, it will mean that the world community considers Russian crimes against Ukraine not as important as the war in Yugoslavia or the Second World War, noted the head of the Foreign Ministry.

According to him, Ukraine is calling for creation of an International Tribunal, because the so-called hybrid tribunal, which the G7 insists on, does not answer to the question of how to condemn the top leadership of the aggressor country.

«For the sake of the International Tribunal, for the sake of justice, for the sake of fighting lawlessness, ultimately for the sake of honouring the victims of war and their families, it is necessary to recognize that if the law does not meet the goals of establishing justice, then we need to change international law, as it has been done before, to make justice possible», — Dmytro Kuleba added.

Leo Docherty, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Europe at the UK Foreign Office, reiterated the importance of achieving justice and stressed that any tribunal must be legal.

«Any tribunal must be lawful. And for this, of course, it is necessary to make full use of diplomatic tools», said Leo Docherty.

According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin, currently, the key task is to strengthen the national justice system to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

«Our primary role as a state is to investigate and prosecute war crimes. Prosecution is the task of the national justice system. We need to strengthen it by building strong institutions together», he noted.

Andriy Kostin stated that Ukraine closely cooperates with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan. One of the results of such work was the international arrest warrant for Russian President Putin.

Back to news list
Carl Bildt
Carl Bildt
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«If you look at opinion polls throughout Europe, there has been a significant rise of public opinion support for the European Union. The reason for that is what I call PTB effect. The PTB is Putin, Trump and Brexit.»