REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Leaders from across the continent were headed to Iceland early Tuesday for a rare 46-nation Council of Europe summit that will once again step up support for member state Ukraine and condemn Russia ousted for inflict war on his country. neighbor.
And after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stocked up on promises of military equipment during a long weekend of diplomatic forays Featuring the continent’s top leaders, the two-day summit of Europe’s top human rights body will focus on providing legal and judicial means to go after the Kremlin.
By Wednesday’s conclusion, the summit leaders want to have the outlines of a system that will establish a record of all the damage already caused by Russian forces, so that Moscow can be held responsible for compensating the victims later. . They hope that the United States, which has observer status at the summit, will also back that initiative.
“The registry is just one of several international initiatives set up to ensure accountability for crimes committed in Ukraine,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.
The Council also wants to make sure Russia can be held accountable for what it sees as a plethora of crimes committed during the invasion.
“I will strongly support the creation of a court dedicated to prosecuting Russia’s crime of aggression,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Plans for such a court in The Hague have not yet come to fruition.
In kyiv, words of support were no match for Moscow’s military might, as Russia launched an intense airstrike in the capital using a combination of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
In the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, diplomacy sought a counterbalance, with keynote addresses by Sunak, von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
It was not yet clear whether Zelenskyy, who was in Britain on Monday, was now heading home or continuing on to Iceland. During a fruitful three-day tour of Europe, European leaders promised him an arsenal of missiles, tanks and drones to replenish Ukraine’s arms supplies ahead of a long-awaited spring offensive.
There will be no escape from Ukraine’s plight during the two-day summit of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Since its creation in 1949 it has been a guardian, with fluctuating success, of human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the continent. Seldom has the need been greater than in today’s world.
The summit will also want to focus on the plight of children who have been transferred from Ukraine to Russia during the invasion. In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for kidnapping children from Ukraine. Another official has also been charged.
Since the start of the war, the Russians have been accused of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-controlled territories to raise as their own. Thousands of children have been abducted from schools and orphanages during the Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine and it is not known where they are now.
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