Lithuania proposes establishing tribunal for Russia, Belarus over Ukraine war

  • 2022-03-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania's Justice Ministry has proposed setting up a special tribunal in the European Union to ensure criminal liability of Russian and Belarusian leaders for the aggression in Ukraine, the ministry said on Tuesday.

"A special tribunal would be an effective mechanism for overcoming legal obstacles related to the necessary UN Security Council resolution on the opening of proceedings at the International Criminal Court as well as national pre-trial investigations on the basis of universal jurisdiction," Justice Minister Evelina Dobrovolska said in a statement.

On Tuesday, she sent an official letter on the matter to EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and the justice ministers of EU member states.

"The crime of aggression violates the international community's fundamental principles of non-use of armed force, respect for the sovereignty and territorial independence of states, and therefore requires an international response," the minister said.

"We are strengthening international cooperation and seeking to implement, by all possible means and legal mechanisms, the states' obligations under international law and to ensure the criminal liability of the Russian and Belarusian regimes," she said. 

The idea of establishing a tribunal was last week proposed to the international community by the Ukrainian government, as well as by the scientific and legal communities.