Today, the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) adopted a Statement in which it demands holding to account individually those involved in planning, preparation, launching and committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine, and calls on establishing for this a special international tribunal under the auspices of the UN.
85 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of passing of the Statement of the Riigikogu “On Accountability for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine” (228 AE), submitted by 94 members of the Riigikogu. In the Statement, the Riigikogu commemorates all victims of the crimes of aggression, genocide and deportations committed by the Soviet Union and its successor the Russian Federation.
The Riigikogu underlines in the Statement that the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine is the most outrageous act of aggression in Europe since the Second World War and requires an adequate legal response. According to the Statement, the crime of aggression is the supreme international crime which is the root cause of all other crimes perpetrated in Ukraine and which leads to the perpetration of further serious crimes, and the prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime is the duty of the international community as a whole. “It is the duty of the World to hold to account individually those involved in planning, preparing, initiating or executing the crime of aggression against Ukraine, in addition to perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” the Statement says.
The Riigikogu points out that the crime of aggression is essentially a leadership crime. Already the Charter of the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg formulated the principle that leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices of a war of aggression participating in the formulation or execution of a war plan are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan. “Without a trial of the perpetrators of the crime aggression it will not be possible to achieve a just and lasting peace both in Ukraine and in the whole Europe,” emphasises the Statement, adding that a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression has to be established under the auspices of the UN General Assembly to prosecute the crime of aggression committed by the leadership of the Russian Federation.
In the Statement, the Riigikogu sets the establishment and launch of a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine as a priority in Estonia’s foreign policy activities. The Riigikogu calls on the Government and the President of the Republic to raise this issue at all meetings with other governments and Heads of State, in all international organisations where the Republic of Estonia is a member as well as at all international fora where the Republic of Estonia participates, and to strengthen the cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities in the investigation of the crime of aggression and in bringing criminals to justice. “The Riigikogu calls on national governments and parliaments around the world, especially Estonia’s allies, to actively support the establishment of a special international tribunal under the auspices of the UN General Assembly,” the Statement says.
Since the beginning of last year, the Riigikogu has adopted seven Statements and one Communication to condemn Russia’s activities and to express support to Ukraine. Among other things, the Riigikogu has recognised the actions committed by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the military aggression against Ukraine as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation, and has declared Russia a terrorist regime and the Russian Federation a state sponsor of terrorism, whose actions we must confront together. The Riigikogu has also supported the establishment of a centre for investigating Russia’s crime of aggression by the European Union in The Hague, called on the countries of the world to contribute in every way to the activities of the centre, and to continue with efforts to set up an international special tribunal.
On 17 May this year, the Riigikogu passed the Statement submitted by 95 members of the Riigikogu in support of Ukraine’s wish to join NATO as the only way to ensure a rules-based world order, lasting peace and the security of the democratic countries of Europe.
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