Russia/Ukraine: Speech by High Representative Josep Borrell at the event “Joint Actions for Ending Russia’s Impunity and Delivering Justice for Victims”

02.12.2022 EEAS Press Team

Let me start by praising the resistance shown by Ukrainian people to Russia’s war of aggression. These horrifying atrocities and war crimes cannot and will not go unpunished. 

The EU is engaged with Ukraine and international partners to ensure accountability for crimes committed in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

There are three strands to this work:

In the first instance, we are supporting the ICC’s central role in investigating the war crimes and crimes against humanity. As those who have seen the horrors of Bucha and elsewhere know, these are the gravest and darkest of crimes. So let me pay tribute again to the work of the ICC Chief Prosecutor.

Secondly, we are providing support to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, on the collection of evidence, training of investigators. We do this through our representation, the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine, Eurojust and the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA).

Thirdly, we are ready to support Ukrainian efforts to ensure accountability for the crime of aggression. President Zelenskyy has called for the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression. It is essential that those responsible be held accountableand that justice prevails.

The EU, together with Ukraine and international partners, and in full coherence with the work of the ICC, will work to support the establishment of a tribunal to investigate and prosecute the crime of aggression. This tribunal should have the backing of the UN and the broadest support of the UN membership. Commission President Von der Leyen and I have presented proposals to this end to EU Member States.    

One final comment on accountability – financial accountability. Russia must also pay for its destructionof Ukraine. To date, EU Member States have frozen approximately 19 billion Euros of assets belonging to Russian oligarchs and others supporting President Putin. Approximately 300 billion Euros of Russian Central Bank reserves have been blocked. While “frozen” and “blocked” does not mean “confiscated”, we will explore legal avenues to make sure that Russia pays for the reconstruction of Ukraine.  


Peter Stano
Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)460 75 45 53
Paloma Hall Caballero
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 296 85 60
+32 (0)460 76 85 60