Support for special tribunal on war of aggression against Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has voiced support for a special tribunal to be established to hold Russia’s leadership to account. 

Unterstützung für Sondertribunal zu Angriffskrieg gegen die Ukraine
picture alliance/dpa

The Hague (dpa)- Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants to use a special international tribunal to hold Russia’s leadership accountable for the war of aggression in Ukraine. “We support the Ukrainian wish for a special tribunal to be established for Russia’s crimes of aggression with international support,” Baerbock said during a visit to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The minister argued that in view of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, suspicions of genocide should also be examined. “In the face of this brutality, in the face of the war crimes and systematic crimes, in the face of the crimes against humanity, we have to look at the extent to which this may also take the form of genocide,” she said. The attacks on power supply grids could lead to hundreds of thousands of people dying of thirst or freezing to death.

At the same time, Baerbock proposed a reform of international criminal law to close a glaring legal loophole. According to her proposal, the legal basis for the International Criminal Court in The Hague should be adapted in the medium term so that the crime of waging a war of aggression can also be prosecuted without limitation. A special tribunal is “not an ideal solution, not even for me,” the foreign minister admitted. “But the reason why we need this special solution is that there is currently a gap in our international law.” She said that what was needed now was a “very clear message to the Russian leadership (...) and thus also to everyone else in the world that a war of aggression in this world will not go unpunished”.