Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Statement by Minister for Justice of Sweden Gunnar Strömmer, also on behalf of the following Ministers of Justice: Alma Zadić (Austria), Vincent Van Quickenborne (Belgium), Krum Zarkov (Bulgaria), Ivan Malenica (Croatia), Anna Koukkides Procopiou (Cyprus), Pavel Blažek (Czechia), Peter Hummelgaard (Denmark), Lea Danilson-Järg (Estonia), Marco Buschmann (Germany), Kostas Tsiaras (Greece), Anna-Maja Henriksson (Finland), Eric Dupond-Moretti (France), Simon Harris (Ireland), Carlo Nordio (Italy), Ewelina Dobrowolska (Lithuania), Sam Tanson (Luxembourg), Inese Lībiņa–Egnere (Latvia), Jonathan Attard (Malta), Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (Netherlands), Zbigniew Ziobro (Poland), Catarina Sarmento e Castro (Portugal), Cătălin Marian Predoiu (Romania), Viliam Karas (Slovakia), Dominika Švarc Pipan (Slovenia) and Pilar Llop Cuenca (Spain), on the occasion of the justice ministers conference on supporting the ICC and its investigation into the situation in Ukraine, London, 20 March 2023

Today the Swedish Minister for Justice, Gunnar Strömmer, the current president of the EU Council, together with colleagues from EU Member States, attended a justice ministers conference in London with the objective of supporting the ICC and its investigation into the situation in Ukraine. The conference was also attended by EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, Minister for Justice of Ukraine Denys Maliuska, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan and representatives from other states. The conference was hosted by the Minister for Justice of the Netherlands, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, and the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Dominic Raab.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine is a gross violation of international law. The continuing deadly and indiscriminate strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure are international crimes. The EU Member States have continuously called on Russia to stop.

Accountability for the core international crimes committed in Ukraine is a priority for EU Member States and we offer our full support to the ICC, Ukraine, and the international community in their efforts to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.

At today’s conference, EU Member States noted the arrest warrants that were issued by the ICC last week against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the alleged war crime of unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation. While observing that this is an important step for accountability in Ukraine, EU Member States emphasised the ICC’s independence and integrity.

At the beginning of March 2022, less than a week after Russia’s full-scale invasion, all EU Member States, among many other states, referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC prosecutor.

Since then, the EU Member States have worked together in order to strengthen the ICC and meet the needs of the Ukrainian authorities. The collective response from the EU Member States has been substantial, with over 40 experts seconded to the office of the ICC prosecutor and over EUR 8 million in additional funds provided. EU Member States have also provided forensic support to the ICC and the Ukrainian authorities by channelling experts through the ICC’s forensic rotation model.

At today’s conference, the EU Member States reiterated their strong support for the ICC. In addition to the substantial contributions already provided, the EU Member States announced additional financial support and additional human resources to strengthen the work of the ICC. The EU Member States will continue their efforts to strengthen the EU’s support to the ICC and to ensure accountability for the core international crimes committed in Ukraine.

My main message today has been that the EU Member States remain united in their willingness to continue supporting the ICC and the fight against impunity for the crimes committed in Ukraine – Gunnar Strömmer, Swedish Minister for Justice

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