Baltic states and Poland are flag bearers in calling Russia to account - Libina-Egnere

  • 2023-03-24
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - When it comes to the establishment of a tribunal for calling Russia to account, the Baltic states and Poland are the flag bearers, Justice Minister Inese Libina-Egnere (New Unity) said in an interview on Latvian Television. 

The minister indicated that the Baltic states and Poland have been working most actively to establish the tribunal for prosecuting Russia's crimes. At the same time, this work is not progressing so fast and has to be continued. "We are prepared to move ahead much more quickly and resolutely, we are being listened to. But creating an international regulation takes time," said Libina-Egnere. 

"Latvia supports the establishment of a special international tribunal because under the Rome Statute the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot prosecute crimes of aggression, which essentially are at the basis of all these crimes - this act of aggression against the independent Ukrainian state Russia has been perpetrating," the justice minister said. 

Commenting on the ICC's arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin,  the justice minister indicated that this is a symbolic step. "A legal basis has been found to incriminate  Vladimir Putin, the person who took the criminal decisions, with this particular offense - violation of children's rights," Libina-Egnere said.

As reported, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. The Hague-based ICC said it had also issued a warrant against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's presidential commissioner for children's rights, on similar charges.

More than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the February 24, 2022 invasion, according to Kyiv, with many allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP that Putin was now liable for arrest if he set foot in any of the court's more than 120 member states.