TALLINN – Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu on Monday presented the Estonian parliament's statement on Russia's war crimes and genocide in Ukraine to UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo.
Reinsalu met with DiCarlo in New York as part of the opening week of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. Reinsalu and DiCarlo discussed further support to Ukraine and making sure Russia is held legally responsible for the crimes it has committed in the war. They also spoke about the situation in Belarus, spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn said.
The Estonian minister underlined that Russia has gravely violated international law and human rights and should not feel it has impunity.
"In the war that has been raging on for more than six months now, we have seen deliberate attacks and brutal violence against civilians in Ukraine, with no mercy shown even to children, as well as looting, arrests and deportations," Reinsalu said.
The minister formally presented DiCarlo with the statement of the Estonian Riigikogu on Russia's war crimes and genocide in Ukraine. Reinsalu emphasized that Russia's actions demonstrate a clear intent to commit genocide against the Ukrainian people, adding that the international community needed to take steps to make sure no crime goes unpunished.
This is why it is important to establish a special tribunal to investigate the crimes of aggression organized by the Russian leadership and ensuring legal accountability.
Reinsalu and DiCarlo also discussed the deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and further mitigating steps.
"As the harsh autumn and winter days are drawing closer, we must concentrate on the humanitarian crisis in addition to military aid, to ensure that people suffering in the horrors of war have necessary shelter, food, water and medicines. We must also make sure that humanitarian aid reaches areas outside Ukrainian control," the foreign minister noted, adding that we cannot let our support wane.
Reinsalu and DiCarlo were in agreement that it was also crucial to get immediate access to prisoners of war.
Touching on Belarus, Reinsalu and DiCarlo emphasized that we cannot forget the situation in Belarus with the ongoing war in Ukraine. Estonia remains consistent in its support for the democratic ambitions of the people of Belarus and this is why Estonia is organizing an event focused on the Belarusian crisis and its wider impact on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Reinsalu said.