Accountability for Russia’s actions is one of the key tenets of UK foreign policy on the Ukraine crisis – alongside military, economic, and humanitarian support. The UK is genuinely a practical and thought leader on this.
There are three broad strands to our work on accountability. First, the UK has provided expert assistance to assist Ukrainian investigators and prosecutors. Second the UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the International Criminal Court with the funding, people, and expertise to ensure justice is served. Third, we are exploring options to hold Russia accountable for the Crime of Aggression.
On 20 January 2023, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK had accepted Ukraine’s invitation to join a core group of States to shape thinking on how to ensure criminal accountability for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. On 4 March 2023 at the United for Justice conference in Lviv, it was announced that an International Centre for the Prosecution of Crimes of Aggression against Ukraine will be established in The Hague, within the structure of Eurojust’s Joint Investigation Team for Ukraine. I represented the UK at that conference.
On 18 April 2023, the Foreign Ministers of the G7 countries issued a joint communiqué stating that they “support exploring the creation of an internationalized tribunal based in Ukraine’s judicial system to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine.” On 26 June 2023 the Ukrainian Prosecutor General and I attended an event hosted by the Slynn Foundation which considered impunity and justice and accountability for Ukraine.
I continue to have discussions on the principle and practicalities of accountability mechanisms with Cabinet colleagues, including the Foreign Secretary and Lord Chancellor on a regular basis. In addition, I have regular discussions with our Ukrainian allies and my international counterparts on these issues.