US State Department backs creation of special tribunal to probe crime of Russian aggression
Beth Van Schaack (Photo - screenshot from the video)

The U.S. State Department supports the creation of a special tribunal to investigate the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine, according to Beth Van Schaack, a representative of the State Department for Global Criminal Justice, Voice of America reports.

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On March 27, at a conference at the Catholic University in Washington, dedicated to modern approaches to the Nuremberg principles, Ambassador-at-Large Van Schaack announced that the State Department has backed Ukraine's initiative to establish an international special tribunal to investigate the crime of aggression by Russia.

"I am pleased to announce that the United States supports the development of an internationalized tribunal dedicated to prosecuting the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Although a number of models have been under consideration, and these have been analyzed closely, we believe an internationalized court that is rooted in Ukraine’s judicial system, but that also includes international elements, will provide the clearest path to establishing a new Tribunal and maximizing our chances of achieving meaningful accountability," said Van Schaack.

The representative of the State Department noted that the special tribunal can start working in Europe, at least until the end of the war, because it would "reinforce Ukraine’s desired European orientation, lend gravitas to the initiative, and enable international involvement, including through Eurojust."

Van Schaack noted that the creation of such a special tribunal would not require the adoption of new resolutions of the General Assembly and could be based on previously adopted UN decisions.

At the same time, the representative of the State Department admitted that a full international consensus on this model of the tribunal has not yet been achieved.

"Two models are being considered — a Ukrainian tribunal, which will be international in nature and have serious international support, or another option that can be formed by the UN General Assembly," said Van Schaack.

According to her, Kyiv is currently considering both options.

On December 4, 2022, the UN headquarters had prepared a draft resolution on the creation of an international tribunal to hold Russia's leaders accountable for crimes of aggression against Ukraine.

On February 23, 2023, Van Schaack said that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin hopes to avoid an international court, but he will still face the fate of his colleagues Milosevic and Pinochet.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin and the Children's Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova, for the deportation of children from Ukraine. The warrant issued in The Hague is valid indefinitely.