On 26 May, at his residence in Jurmala, President of Latvia Egils Levits met with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tiny Kox to discuss the establishment of an international ad hoc tribunal to try Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
President Levits welcomed the statement adopted today in Riga by the PACE Standing Committee, stressing the need to accelerate international efforts to hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine and to establish an ad hoc tribunal. In the Riga statement, the PACEemphasizes that Assembly will resolutely pursue its efforts to ensure that the political and military leadership of the Russian Federation is held to account for its war of aggression against Ukraine, supporting the establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression and calling for the Council of Europe to be a part of relevant consultations and negotiations, providing its expert and technical support.
Appreciating E. Levits' long experience as a judge in the European Union Court and European Court of Human Rights, T. Kox asked the President of Latvia to present his vision of the functioning of various international tribunals in the past, their nuances, as well as the international ad hoc tribunal to be established to try the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
E. Levits emphasised that the establishment of the international ad hoc tribunal is necessary for three reasons: to bring justice to Ukraine; to respect the standard of international law achieved after the Second World War, which prohibits wars of aggression; and to avoid undermining the credibility of democratic values.
The last reason, noted the President of Latvia, is particularly important for the Council of Europe, which, as an organisation of democracies, is founded on the rule of law.
President Levits informed about the work that Latvia and dozens of other countries are doing in the United Nations to establish an international ad hoc tribunal to combat crimes of aggression.