VILNIUS – The European Commission's recent proposal to set up a special court to investigate and prosecute Russia's crime of aggression is a step towards that goal, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.
"This can be seen as a step forward for the time being," the Lithuanian president told reporters on Wednesday.
Lithuania and several other regional countries have been urging Western partners for some time already to set up a special tribunal to investigate Russian crimes of aggression in Ukraine, and it would also bring the Russian leadership to justice.
Earlier in the day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that while continuing to support the International Criminal Court, the Commission was proposing to set up "a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia's crime of aggression".
Nauseda says the European Commission reacted "to the accumulated critical mass in states that are demanding this legal solution".
"I believe the next step will be to discuss this idea at the pan-EU level through the inclusions of the United Nations as well," the president said. "We are dealing not only with war crimes, but are also dealing with the crime of aggression and a desire to occupy and destroy another state."
The Baltic states say a special tribunal would help to fill the existing legal vacuum.