Ursula von der Leyen proposes setting up a specialised court to investigate Russia’s crime of aggression

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has proposed to establish a specialised court, which would be backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression, the European Commission’s press service reports.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought death, devastation and unspeakable suffering. We all remember the horrors of Bucha.


The video with the part of von der Leyen’s speech, in which she talked about the losses suffered by Ukraine’s army, has disappeared from her Twitter account.

In the newly published video, the part in which she said that “it is estimated that more than 20,000 civilians and more than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far” was cut out.

“Many thanks to those who pointed out the inaccuracy regarding the figures in a previous version of this video. The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia‘s brutality,” Deputy Chief Spokeswoman and Director for Political Communication for the European Commission Dana Spinant clarified.

“First, Russia must pay for its horrific crimes, including for its crime of aggression against a sovereign state. This is why, while continuing to support the International Criminal Court, we are proposing to set up a specialised court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression. We are ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialised court,” von der Leyen said.

The president also noted that Russia would have to pay financially for the destruction it had caused. As of now, the damages suffered by Ukraine are estimated at €300 billion.

“Russia and its oligarchs have to compensate Ukraine for the damage and cover the costs for rebuilding the country. And we have the means to make Russia pay,” she continued.

According to von der Leyen, the European Union has already blocked €300 billion of the Russian Central Bank reserves and €19 billion of “Russian oligarchs' money”. She added that there are plans to create, in the short term, “a structure to manage these funds and invest them”. The proceeds would be used in favour of Ukraine. The European Commission thinks that once all the sanctions are lifted, “these funds should be used so that Russia pays full compensation for the damages caused to Ukraine”.

Politico previously reported that the European Union had frozen €68 billion of Russian assets in total. According to Politico, the majority of the assets are located in Belgium. According to estimates, around €50 billion of Russian assets have been frozen in the country.

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