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Polish, Latvian presidents back push for special court to try Russian war crimes in Ukraine

01.02.2023 13:30
The Polish and Latvian presidents have backed calls for a special international court to prosecute Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
Andrzej Duda and Egils Levits hold a joint news conference in Riga on Wednesday.
Andrzej Duda and Egils Levits hold a joint news conference in Riga on Wednesday.Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Speaking at a joint news conference in Riga on Wednesday, Poland's Andrzej Duda and Latvia's Egils Levits said they agreed that a special tribunal should be created as part of NATO or otherwise to try those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine. 

"We must punish those who caused this war," Latvia's Levits told the media, as quoted by Polish state news agency PAP.

He added that a "special tribunal should be created to judge war crimes, under the auspices of NATO or perhaps other options are possible," the PAP news agency reported.

Poland's Duda said: "I support the initiative by the Latvian president to establish a special criminal tribunal to try the perpetrators of crimes in Ukraine. Those responsible for crimes must be brought to justice."

The Polish president was speaking during a three-day visit to Latvia for talks on Russia's war against Ukraine, further Western support for Kyiv, and the security of the eastern flank of NATO, among other topics, according to officials.

Duda said in the Latvian capital on Tuesday that he believed that, thanks to a collective effort and support from various Western countries, Ukraine would win the war against Russia.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last month demanded the setting up of a special international criminal tribunal to prosecute Russian and Belarusian political and military leaders over Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Earlier in January, members of the European Parliament called for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute Russia’s political and military leaders and their allies for crimes committed in Ukraine.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in November that the 27-nation European Union was seeking to set up a specialised court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute possible war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.

The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in October called for the establishment of a special international tribunal to investigate Russia's "crime of aggression" against Ukraine.

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an investigation into suspected war crimes in Ukraine days after Russia invaded the country on February 24, 2022, according to officials.

Wednesday is day 343 of Russia’s war against Ukraine.


Source: PAP, TVP Info