The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 to look into the most serious atrocities committed in the world, has no authority to judge crimes of aggression committed by Moscow, as Russia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Thursday from The Hague for the establishment of a special tribunal to try Russia for its invasion of his country, calling for “broad justice” and not “hybrid impunity.”
“There must be responsibility” for this crime of aggression, which he described as “the beginning of evil,” Zelensky said in a speech to diplomats and officials in The Hague, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He added, after visiting the International Criminal Court, which is based in the Dutch city, that “this can only be implemented through the court.”
But he rejected the idea of a “hybrid” court, as other countries want. “The law must work fully to ensure justice,” he said, rejecting the idea of ”hybrid impunity.”
In March, the United States announced its support for calls for the formation of a special court to try Russia for the “crime of aggression” against Ukraine, with international funding and staff, but “rooted in the Ukrainian judicial system.”
And the International Criminal Court, which was established in 2002 to look into the most serious atrocities committed in the world, does not have the authority to judge the crimes of aggression committed by Moscow, because Russia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute.
However, shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it opened an investigation into crimes committed in this country. In March, it issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zelensky, who made an unannounced visit to The Hague, delivered a speech entitled “No peace without justice for Ukraine” in the presence of Dutch Foreign Minister Beck Hoekstra. For his part, the Dutch minister welcomed the presence of the Ukrainian President on the Day of Remembrance of “Those Who Lost Their Lives in World War II” and on the eve of Liberation Day in the Netherlands.
“the same boat”
Zelensky, who wore his usual green uniform and was surrounded by members of his team in combat fatigues, was greeted by the head of the court, Pyotr Hofmansky, and other senior officials. “Seeing him (Zelensky) is very exciting,” said the 12-year-old Zlata, who belongs to a family of three Ukrainians, adding, “I hope he will come in and tell them that this war should end.”
The Netherlands has supported Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.
“We are in the same boat,” Hoekstra said, pledging to continue to provide this support “until you celebrate your liberation day.” There is also a meeting scheduled with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo.