Zelensky urges Europe to back war tribunal for Russian leaders


Published: 2022-12-14 18:55

Last Updated: 2024-06-18 02:50

Zelensky urges Europe to back war tribunal for Russian leaders
Zelensky urges Europe to back war tribunal for Russian leaders

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Europe on Wednesday to help set up a tribunal swiftly to try Russia's leadership for the "crime of aggression," as he accepted the EU's top rights award.

"I call on all of you, your parties and states to effectively support this work. The tribunal must start working," Zelensky told the European Parliament in a speech via video link.

"It is necessary to make it a reality as soon as possible."

Zelensky made the call as he received the European Union's annual Sakharov Prize on behalf of the "brave people of Ukraine."

The EU's executive shares Ukraine's hopes for a tribunal aimed at prosecuting Moscow's top officials and is pushing the bloc's member states to back it.

Numerous EU countries -- including the Baltic states, Poland and the Netherlands -- have already thrown their weight behind the proposal.

Ukraine is pressing for a special tribunal to hold the Kremlin to account for the "crime of aggression" as this lies outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

"The cities and villages destroyed by Russia, destroyed lives should be reflected in the sentences not only for those who directly committed all this but also for those who organized and started this aggression," Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian leader insisted his country would eventually prevail against Moscow's forces and deliver a crushing blow to the ambitions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We will win so that there will be no attempts to apply, again, the genocidal policy against our people, both in Ukraine and throughout Europe," Zelensky said.

"We must give and we will give a new effective security architecture for global freedom and international law and order."