The Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, welcomed the resolution adopted on Thursday by the European Parliament which calls for the creation of a special international tribunal tasked with judging the crime of aggression by Russia against Ukraine and stated that one must find the most solid legal basis to create such a court.
In an interview given at the Davos Forum to Al-Jazeera, Minister Aurescu said that Romania was a very strong supporter of the fight against impunity with regard to Russia and Russian perpetrators, in connection with the conflict in Ukraine.
Aurescu recalled that, in March, Romania notified, together with many other states, the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. We have also introduced our Declaration of intervention at the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the case between Ukraine and Russia, and I am proud to say that I will be Romania’s Agent in this case, added the head of Romanian diplomacy. We also intervened in the case between Ukraine and Russia before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, he also pointed out.
And yes, we also support the establishment of a court to punish the crime of aggression, Aurescu said. He explained, however, that the most difficult part is the legal basis for the establishment of this tribunal, because most of the precedents that allowed the creation of other international tribunals, other ad hoc criminal tribunals or other types of bodies involved the UN Security Council, where now Russia has, of course, a veto against any such form of struggle against its impunity.
Therefore, he added, we must find the most solid legal basis to create such a court. At one point, in Romania, we were thinking about the precedent of the Special Chambers in Kosovo, which were created through an agreement between the European Union and the authorities in Kosovo, said Aurescu.
Although Romania does not recognize Kosovo as a state, from a legal point of view this could be an interesting formula: for example, an agreement between the European Union and Ukraine to establish these cameras, which can be connected to some national cameras of Ukraine. At the same time, let’s have a kind of “international prosecutor’s office”, composed of international experts in the field. Maybe this is too advanced a proposal, but we need a legal debate on this subject, he mentioned.
In the same interview for Al-Jazeera, Bogdan Aurescu recalled that Romania, the EU and NATO member state with the largest border with Ukraine, was at the forefront of efforts to fight the effects of the war in Ukraine from the very first day.
I would say that this war changed our lives radically and forever. We had to adapt immediately, said the head of Romanian diplomacy, mentioning the diplomatic efforts, the reception of over 3.3 million Ukrainian refugees, the help given to international efforts to avoid a food crisis. Since the beginning of the war, more than 11.2 million tonnes of grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine have transited through Romania, almost half of the total amount that transited through the Solidarity Corridors of the EU, he emphasized.
The Romanian minister also referred to the fact that a lot of opportunities arise from this conflict. The EU candidate status for both Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova was a great achievement, also the very important decisions taken at the NATO summit in Madrid, which greatly strengthened the security on the eastern flank’, ‘the battle group in Romania (…) and the fact that the Allied presence in Romania has increased to almost 5,000 troops, which means a great contribution to the consolidation of the security of Romania and the eastern flank, he said.
So, lots of opportunities. Perhaps we should thank the President Putin for all this, including for allowing us to be less dependent on Russian energy sources, the Romanian foreign minister also stated in the interview.