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Ukraine awaiting ICC’s probe into Russia's crimes

Ukraine expects the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to apply for permission from the ICC to launch an investigation into crimes committed by the Russian Federation in the occupied Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

That’s according to a statement of the Ukrainian delegation, voiced by Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, Yuriy Vitrenko, who spoke at the meeting of the UN General Assembly on the ICC report for 2020-2021, an Ukrinform correspondent in New York reports.

As the Prosecutor's Office has acknowledged that the situation in Ukraine meets the criteria of the Rome Statute to launch an inquiry, Ukraine is looking forward to the next step, which is applying for a court permit to initiate such an investigation, according to Vitrenko.

The diplomat recalled that, during the reporting period, the Prosecutor's Office continued to analyze crimes committed in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in order to identify potential criminal cases to be initiated.

The prosecutor's report says there are sufficient grounds to believe that crimes committed in both Crimea and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions can be covered by the Court's jurisdiction, the diplomat said, adding that this is about war crimes and crimes against humanity committed including against the civilian population.

Vitrenko noted that the decision of the ICC prosecutor passed a decision to complete the preliminary study of the situation in Ukraine on December 11, 2020.

Read also: Venediktova: Rome Statute will give Ukraine new opportunities at ICC

According to the Ukrainian diplomat, Ukraine was one of the first countries to support the idea of ​​establishing a permanent international tribunal based on treaties, took an active part in the preparatory committee for the ICC founding, and in 2000 signed the Rome Statute, which regulates the ICC’s work.

On April 17, 2014, the Ukrainian government filed with the ICC an application to recognize the Court’s jurisdiction in respect of crimes committed in Ukraine’s territory from November 21, 2013, to February 22, 2014. On September 8, 2015, Ukraine filed another application, regarding the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed by Russia since February 20, 2014, since the onset of Russia’s military aggression.

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