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Foreign Affairs | Continuing support for Ukraine and expectations for international war crimes courts to bring perpetrators before them

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which he and other European Union countries continue to support the people of the Ukraine in the face of the continued Russian aggression; if it is expected that the international war crimes courts are likely to bring the perpetrators before them with a view retribution in the courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland, and the European Union, have been consistent in our support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s illegal and unjustified war of aggression. The response by the European Union to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been unprecedented in its unity, firmness and determination. It has encompassed political, financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support for Ukraine. Overall EU assistance to Ukraine pledged by both EU and Member States so far amounts to nearly €50 billion, which includes financial, humanitarian, emergency and budgetary support. Ireland has repeatedly called for Russia to end its aggression immediately and withdraw from Ukrainian territory.

Ireland supports initiatives to bring to account perpetrators of atrocity crimes, including war crimes, committed in Ukraine in the context of Russia’s aggression. As the first permanent international court with the power to prosecute international crimes, the International Criminal Court (ICC), along with other accountability mechanisms, has a crucial role to play fighting impunity for atrocity crimes, such as war crimes, that have occurred, and are continuing, in Ukraine. In March 2022, Ireland was one of 43 states which referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC in order to allow the ICC Prosecutor to immediately start an investigation, and in May 2022 Ireland gave a voluntary contribution of €1 million to the Office of the Prosecutor in order to address urgent resource needs across all situations before the Court, following the opening of the Ukraine investigation.

The Prosecutor has now commenced investigation activities in Ukraine which are intended to lead to the prosecution of individuals for the commission of international crimes, including war crimes.

Ireland also supports accountability for the Russian leadership responsible for the crime of aggression, a crime that is outside the jurisdiction of the ICC’s investigation in Ukraine. In February, Ireland joined 31 other states in the Core Group on the Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression to address the complex legal and practical issues that arise in trying to establish a credible, legitimate and effective tribunal to deal with this crime.

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