Nuland: An international tribunal for Russia may be in place before the summer

January 27,2023 1015
Nuland: An international tribunal for Russia may be in place before the summer

An accountability mechanism to prosecute those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine may be ready before the summer, Victoria Nuland, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said Thursday.

During a Hearing on Countering Russian Aggression in the U.S. Senate, Foreign Relations Committee Chair Sen. Bob Menendez commented on sanctions and prosecutions against those committing war crimes. “There must be accountability. And accountability without prosecutions is not accountability.”

Nuland reported that G7 working groups of lawyers and political actors are looking at various accountability models. “I think we will have to say more about that as we approach the anniversary [of Russia’s invasion] in terms of actually setting up judicial proceedings,” Nuland said. She added that, in the meantime, work is underway on the ground in Ukraine to support all kinds of accountability mechanisms – “everything from collecting evidence to supporting the catalog of atrocities, etc.”

Sen. Ben Cardin mentioned that tomorrow would be Holocaust Remembrance Day and asked, “Is there any hope that we could move forward with some recognized international mechanism that could start the process so that it’s known internationally that accountability is going to be part of the resolution of this conflict?”

“We are working hard on that with our G7 partners and with Ukraine… I would like to see us come to conclusion before the anniversary, around February, but it may take another few months. But certainly, before the summer, I would hope,” Nuland answered.

Cardin elaborated that he meant a mechanism like the Nuremberg trials after WWII, and Nuland said, “That is our aspiration.”

The same day, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) unanimously demanded the setting up of a special international criminal tribunal in The Hague to prosecute Russian and Belarusian political and military leaders who “planned, prepared, initiated or executed” Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

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