At the end of 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) may start substantive consideration the cases on war crimes and crimes against humanity in the East of Ukraine and Crimea, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Yevhen Enin said.
"We expect that by the end of next year we would be able to enter a new stage of this process, and for this we are fully interested in strengthening interaction both with the current prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and with the newly appointed one. In addition, the coordination of all involved government bodies requires strengthening. This is, first of all, about the prosecutor's office, the pretrial investigation authorities. The role of public organizations is important, which largely help in collecting evidence of crimes against humanity or war crimes in the temporarily occupied territories, both in Crimea and Donbas," he said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Enin said that Ukraine has been moving towards this since 2014, and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court made a very important decision.
"Taking into account certain bureaucratic features, her mandate expires in June next year, the election of the next prosecutor should be held in February-March, 2021. The procedure for transferring cases will take some time. Taking into account that Ukraine has not ratified the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court will act in accordance with the proclaimed statements of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the prosecutor should appeal to the judges of the International Criminal Court in order to approve such a decision," he said.
The deputy minister said that Ukraine does not exclude that the Russian side will try to use this fact in its disinformation campaigns, which are an integral part of the hybrid war.
"Therefore, it is extremely important to clarify as clearly as possible what the International Criminal Court can do, what it cannot, how the state authorities of Ukraine will act and what opportunities this gives us to speed up the moment of bringing the top Russian military and political leadership to justice for organizing war crimes and crimes against humanity in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine," he said.