The European Parliament asks the European Union to support the creation of a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine, in respect of which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction, and to arrest Russian political leaders and military leaders, as well as their allies, bringing military personnel to justice.
The corresponding request is contained in the resolution on combating impunity for war crimes in Ukraine, which was voted in the European Parliament on Thursday by a simple show of hands.
In particular, the EP deputies believe that for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, such a special international tribunal should investigate Russian leaders, military leaders and their allies. These investigations and subsequent prosecutions should also apply to all members of the Russian armed forces and government officials involved in war crimes, the MEPs ask.
The Parliament also called on the EU to take all necessary actions in international proceedings and courts to support the prosecution of the Russian and Belarusian regimes for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression.
At the same time, MEPs want the EU to provide as soon as possible all the necessary human and budgetary resources, as well as administrative, investigative and logistical support necessary for the establishment of this tribunal.
According to the European Parliament, reports of atrocities, such as indiscriminate shelling of cities and towns, forced deportations, the use of prohibited ammunition, attacks on civilians fleeing along pre-agreed humanitarian corridors, executions and sexual violence, amount to violations of international humanitarian law. The European Parliament believes that such actions can qualify as war crimes, despite the fact that so far they have all gone unpunished.
In addition, the European Parliament expressed confidence that those guilty of war crimes should be brought to justice and expressed support for the Ukrainian authorities and the International Criminal Court in collecting evidence.
MEPs stress that the EU must act quickly, as there is a serious risk that due to the ongoing hostilities, evidence related to war crimes will be destroyed.
They also expressed full support for the investigation of the ICC Prosecutor and the work of the Investigative Commission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as independent civil society organizations and the Ukrainian authorities involved in collecting evidence.
The MEPs welcomed the joint investigation team established by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, whose activities are coordinated by the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation Eurojust, in which the ICC Prosecutor's Office will participate, and call on other member States to join this team.