In The Hague, Zelenskyy calls for and tribunal and trial for Putin, Russia to pay compensation to Ukraine

4 May, 02:45 PM
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool)

A full-fledged tribunal should be convened to try Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, a war crimes suspect wanted by the International Criminal Court, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his speech at the court’s headquarters in The Hague during a visit to the Netherlands on May 4.

Zelenskyy said a full-fledged tribunal, rather than a hybrid one, would be able to hold the Russian dictator properly accountable.

The Ukrainian president’s speech was broadcast by Dutch channel NOS.

Zelenskyy expressed his hope that Putin would be captured and convicted for his “criminal acts.”

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“We all want to see a different Vladimir here in The Hague,” Zelenskyy said.

“(Putin) is the one who deserves to be convicted for criminal acts right here — in the capital of international law. And I’m sure this will happen when we win. And we will win. Not only on the battlefield.”

“We must defeat the criminal idea that is born in the mind of someone who is used to impunity, which opens the door to aggression.”

Zelenskyy said Russia had committed 6,139 war crimes in Ukraine, killing 207 civilians in April alone. He also mentioned the recent attack by Russian occupiers on a high-rise building in Uman, resulting in the deaths of 23 people, and the atrocities in Bucha from last year.

All those present in the hall also paid tribute with a moment of silence to the memory of those who died in the MH17 plane crash, which was shot down by a Russian Buk air defense system in 2014. An investigation into the deaths of the 298 people on the plane found that Russia had sent the system into Ukraine.

REUTERS/Yves Herman
Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

Zelenskyy said he was convinced that a special tribunal should be created for those who invaded Ukraine. He also called for the creation of a mechanism for compensating Ukraine for the damage caused by Russian aggression.

“Only one institution is capable of responding to the primary crime, the crime of aggression — it is a tribunal,” Zelenskyy said.

“(There must not be) some compromise that allows politicians to say that the case is supposedly closed, but a real, truly full-fledged tribunal... This is a war that we did not want, that we must make the last one — and we will do it.”

Zelenskyy arrived in the Netherlands after attending the Ukraine-Northern Europe summit in Finland on May 3. In The Hague, he met with the President of the Dutch Senate Jan Brown and the Chairman of the Dutch House of Representatives Vera Bergkamp. He will also have an audience with Dutch King Willem-Alexander and visit a Dutch air force base.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian “children’s rights ombudswoman” Maria Lvova-Belova on March 17. They are accused of forcibly removing children from Ukraine to Russia during the period from Feb. 24, 2022.

The 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute are obliged to arrest the Kremlin dictator should he appear in their territory.

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