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Europe creates 'register of damage' for Russia's war in Ukraine

18.05.2023 01:00
The Council of Europe has announced it has established a "register of damage" to help hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine, according to news reports.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Polish President Andrzej Duda. PAP/EPA/ANTON BRINK HANSEN

The "Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation Against Ukraine" will document "damage, loss or injury caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine," the organization said on Wednesday at the conclusion of a two-day summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The system is "vital" if Moscow is to be held liable for compensation to victims of the war, Marija Pejčinović Burić, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, told reporters.

"It is one of the first legally binding decisions to hold Russia accountable for its acts," she said, as quoted by US broadcaster CNN.

'A strong message of support to Ukraine'

Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said the register "is an important step towards accountability for crimes committed in Russia’s brutal war and a strong message of support to Ukraine," according to CNN.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal hailed the register as "an important milestone on the road to justice and reparations for Ukraine and the Ukrainians who have suffered so much from this war."

Shmyhal said: "We invite other states, from all corners of the world, to join the Register of Damage as a sign of support for the important issue of Russia's accountability for its war against Ukraine."

'Important step to hold those guilty to account': Polish president

In a speech during the summit, Polish President Andrzej Duda urged the international community to ensure that Russian war crimes in Ukraine are "prosecuted to the fullest extent" and that all victims receive fair compensation for their suffering.

Duda also said in Reykjavik that the "register of damage" for Russian war crimes and destruction in Ukraine was "an important step to hold to account those guilty of crimes committed in Ukraine."

More than 40 European leaders attended the two-day Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik to discuss human rights and security challenges including Russia's war against Ukraine, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The Council of Europe is an international organisation that brings together 46 countries aiming to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

Ukraine has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1995.

Russia was also a member, but it was expelled from the organization in March last year, weeks after it invaded Ukraine, officials have noted.

Russia invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Thursday is day 449 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, CNN, president.pl