Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Andriy Smyrnov discussed with Amnesty International delegation the establishment of special international tribunal on Russian crimes

The press release issued by the President of Ukraine on 5 May 2022.

Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Smyrnov met with a delegation of the international non-governmental human rights organization Amnesty International led by Secretary General Agnès Callamard.

Agnès Callamard stressed that Amnesty International seeks to focus the attention of as many countries as possible on the problem of the war in Ukraine. In particular, the organization plans to interact with representatives of the media and civil society.

The Deputy Head of the Office of the President noted that Ukraine needs strong support from the international community in documenting war crimes committed by Russia in our country. According to him, the International Criminal Court is already working on the cases in which evidence of Russian crimes during the war in Ukraine is being investigated, but the inevitability of punishment for top officials of the aggressor country must be inevitable.

Andriy Smyrnov stressed the importance of establishing a special international criminal tribunal, which will be able to quickly assess the evidence of crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“Active multi-level consultations are underway at various international platforms on the need to establish and launch a mechanism for such a tribunal,” said the Deputy Head of the Office of the President.

He noted that last week the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted two resolutions calling for the establishment of an international tribunal.

“Ukraine’s representation at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the President’s Office is involved in the negotiation process with allied countries, with which the model and forms of operation of such a tribunal are being discussed,” Andriy Smyrnov said.

“Given the obvious signs of aggression, all the evidence that the civilized world has seen, the horrible crimes committed by the aggressor country – Russia, in my opinion, the assessment of this fact should be given as soon as possible. And the entire military-political leadership of the aggressor country must bear severe and unavoidable responsibility for this,” he stressed.

The Deputy Head of the Office of the President noted that among the issues being discussed is also the location of such a tribunal.

“We are in favor of it being located in Ukraine. In Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka or in Kyiv. Ukraine is ready to provide full technical and organizational support for the work of such a tribunal,” Andriy Smyrnov said.

He stressed that the new tribunal should not be overburdened with a large number of powers in order to avoid conflicts of jurisdiction with other international judicial institutions. However, time must show how quickly the existing international institutions will be able to assess the convincing evidence of Russia’s war crimes against Ukraine and its citizens.

“Ukrainian society, its citizens tortured by Russian war criminals, all those who have endured any form of suffering as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine, destroyed Ukrainian business – all are waiting for answers to these questions. And this legal assessment must be given within a reasonable time. Both politically, in a global context, and legally – in the judiciary,” said the Deputy Head of the Office of the President.

Andriy Smyrnov also informed the Amnesty International delegation about the work of Ukraine’s judicial system in wartime.

During the meeting, Amnesty International representatives presented the President’s Office with a vine sapling. Human rights activists said the plant was brought from the Syrian region, which was completely destroyed by the Russian army. This is a gift from the Syrian people, which supports the democratic aspirations of Ukrainians.

Andriy Smyrnov noted that he would personally hand over the vine sapling to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.