Special tribunal for Russia’s crimes in Ukraine could be set up by 2024, Kyiv says

Andriy Smirnov, Deputy Head of the OP

In constant consultations with its Western partners, Kyiv is still working on a formula for a special tribunal to investigate Russian crimes of aggression against Ukraine, Andriy Smirnov, Deputy Head of the President’s Office, told NV on Oct. 12.

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The current proposal envisions a compromise model for the tribunal, according to Smirnov. It would focus on bringing senior Russian leadership to justice for starting the war of aggression against Ukraine.

“Right now, this compromise version is being discussed with European political institutions and the United States,” said Smirnov.

“Within these discussions, all the pros and possible cons are being weighed. So far, we do not see any cons.”

Read also: Nuremberg Academy calls for international tribunal on Russian war crimes

Smirnov explained that the compromise model involves creating a special tribunal “within the jurisdiction of one of the countries that is part of the coordination group, and which has a stable legal system, and truly carries high authority on the international stage.”

Read also: Zelenskyy hosts summit on special tribunal for Russia

After the creation of such a tribunal in one of the countries, the next step would be a vote in the UN General Assembly to legitimize the body.

Read also: US House Committee passes draft resolution on special tribunal for Russia

“We have some cautious optimism that by this new year [2024] we will be able to arrive at such a desired result [final decision on the tribunal model] within the coordination group,” the official adds.

He also said that Ukraine had previously discussed the creation of a tribunal through a resolution of the UN General Assembly, but some key partners were against the idea.

Another option — for Ukraine’s own judicial system to handle the proceedings — was rejected by Kyiv.

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