Foreign policy Egils Levits
09.05.2023. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits piedalās tiešsaistes samitā par īpaša tribunāla izveidi saistībā ar agresijas noziegumu pret Ukrainu

President Zelenskyy,

esteemed colleagues,


9th May is Europe Day. The day we celebrate the values for which we stand and which Ukraine is fighting for.

We are one family. Latvia will continue to support Ukraine's future in the European Union.

Latvia condemns in the strongest terms Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.


The territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be a matter of compromise.

Russia started this war. And Russia must immediately and unconditionally end this war by withdrawing its troops from the territory of Ukraine.

Latvia is among the biggest supporters of Ukraine, as measured against the size of our economy. Ukraine can rely on us also in the future.

We support President Zelenskyy’s Peace Initiative, based on the principles of the UN Charter and aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace.


Among other goals, this initiative envisages accountability for the crime of aggression and compensation for all damages caused by Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

The crime of aggression committed by the political leadership of Russia against Ukraine is the basis of the war crimes and other international crimes being committed by Russian troops as we speak.


We must ensure the comprehensible accountability of Russia. This is necessary for three reasons:

First, to do justice for Ukraine and its people.

Second, to prevent the degradation of international law standards which were reached after the Second World War and which prohibit a war of aggression.

And third, to prevent Russia from planning future wars.


In short – it is necessary to ensure the accountability of Russia to restore and keep the peace in Europe. Therefore, the crimes committed by Russia cannot and will not go unpunished.


President Zelenskyy,

dear colleagues,

I support the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the decisive steps taken by the ICC to ensure accountability, including the recently issued arrest warrants against the Russian president for war crimes.

I welcome the establishment of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression.

I acknowledge the progress in establishing the Register of Damage caused by the Russian war against Ukraine.


These are important tools in our arsenal to ensure full accountability for the crimes in and against Ukraine.

Yet, none of the existing mechanisms can exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression against Ukraine and bring to justice Russia's highest leadership. This accountability gap must be closed!


Therefore, today at the Core group Summit, I call for establishing a Special ad hoc Tribunal which will exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression committed by Russia against Ukraine.

Latvia joins the Core Group Summit Declaration.

We should work together to establish a proper Special Tribunal with international judges. The Special Tribunal should have its own rules of procedure, which would ensure the highest possible legitimacy and efficacy.

The rules of procedure of the International Criminal Court could serve as a model.

By definition, the crime of aggression is a leadership crime, and this Special Tribunal would ensure the highest legitimacy in bringing to justice Russia's highest leadership.


I call on all states worldwide and international organizations to support the creation of a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

Legally the establishment of such a Tribunal is possible. All that we need is political will.

Dear President Zelenskyy,

Latvia will be steadfast in its support to Ukraine for as long as it takes. We are Europe.

Slava Ukraini!