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EU Parliament Calls for Special Tribunal to Punish Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

A residential building in Dnipro, Ukraine, following a Jan. 14 Russian missile strike that killed at least 45 people. Dnipropetrovsk regional state administration

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution to establish a special international tribunal that will prosecute Russia’s political and military leadership and its allies for “the crime of aggression against Ukraine.”

In a statement Thursday, European MEPs said the tribunal would fill a vacuum in international criminal justice and complement the investigative efforts of the International Criminal Court, which cannot investigate the "leadership" crime of aggression in the case of a non-member state like Russia.

Among those to be prosecuted by the tribunal are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

The Parliament said that EU preparatory work on the special tribunal should start immediately and focus on “building the arrangements for the court in cooperation with Kyiv.”

The tribunal's establishment “would send a very clear signal to both Russian society and the international community that President Putin and the Russian leadership at large can be convicted for the crime of aggression in Ukraine,” the European Parliament said.

The resolution was passed with 472 votes in favor, 19 votes against with 33 abstentions.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday backed the creation of a special international tribunal to prosecute Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

What is needed is “a tribunal that can investigate the Russian leadership and put them on trial," Baerbock said.

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