“I“Unfortunately, we are in a kind of impasse on these two issues because there are divisions on the first and there is clearly a lack of will on the second”, declared Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday in Kiev, statements that were embargo until today.
The G7 countries “are firmly in favor of a (…) hybrid court” based on Ukrainian legislation and which, according to Kiev, does not allow for the lifting of the immunity of Russian leaders including President Vladimir Putin, his Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and head of diplomacy Serguei Lavrov, assured the minister.
“A hybrid court does not correspond to the question of how to prosecute the ‘troika’ that I just mentioned,” he declared during the annual Yalta European Strategy conference, which brings together Ukraine’s supporters.
“It is impossible to explain to Ukrainians that such a trial could take place without Putin in the dock”, added the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Andrii Kostine.
“Every Ukrainian wants a court where Putin will be prosecuted and judged. Our obligation to the civilized world is to create such a court”, he reinforced.
According to Kuleba, and unlike the G7 (group of seven world powers), Ukraine and several countries insist on the establishment of an “international court” similar to the one in Nuremberg (Germany) that tried Nazi war criminals after the Second World War.
For Kiev, such an institution would deprive Russian leaders of guaranteeing immunity and pursuing them in court for a “crime of aggression” against Ukraine.
Another divergent issue between the Ukrainian leadership and its allies relates to the idea of using Russian assets frozen in the West since the beginning of the Russian invasion to rebuild Ukraine, valued at billions of dollars.
Western allies have frozen more than 300 billion of Russian Central Bank assets and tens of billions of euros of miscellaneous assets belonging to sanctioned people or entities.
However, during a joint press conference with Kuleba on Wednesday, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced that in addition to a new military package of more than one billion dollars (932 million euros) , Washington was going to transfer assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs for the first time, a decision already heavily criticized by Moscow.
Several Western countries continue to raise legal difficulties in carrying out these transfers, on which Ukraine also depends, at a time when the conflict has been going on for more than a year and a half.
“There is a lack of will to reach a conclusion. Therefore, we must change the situation”, defended Kuleba.
The Russian military offensive on Ukrainian territory, launched on February 24 last year, plunged Europe into what is considered the most serious security crisis since the Second World War (1939-1945).
Ukraine’s Western allies have supplied weapons to Kiev and approved successive sanctions packages against Russian interests to try to diminish Moscow’s ability to finance the war effort.
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