On Tuesday, 2 April, the Minister of Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere attended the high-level international meeting on war crimes in Ukraine "Restoring Justice for Ukraine" in The Hague, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. At the meeting, the Minister stressed the urgent need to ensure at an international level, that sanctioned Russian state assets and their proceeds can be used to support Ukraine.

The Minister of Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere also emphasised that Latvia would continue to support the efforts of the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Ukraine in a targeted manner, as well as participate in all international formats to promote the creation of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression. Furthermore, there is still important work ahead – an international and comprehensive compensation mechanism must be created to ensure the efficient operation of the Ukrainian Register of Damages – to attempt to compensate the immeasurable pain experienced by the Ukrainian people since the brutal Russian invasion.

The Minister of Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere stated, “Today, while we are looking for ways to restore justice to Ukraine, Ukraine is fighting for our rule of law. Ukrainians are protecting our common democratic values with great courage and sacrifice. Now we, Ukraine’s allies, must be able to effectively use the rule of law as a key to stopping the aggressor-state – Russia. No one else will do it for us. Our unity and resolve play a crucial role in defending our democratic values.”

It is important to note that Latvia already provides extensive practical and political support for the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine, and the crime of aggression, by sending two experts to the International Criminal Court, as well as ensuring that Latvian prosecutors participate in the European Union Agency’s for Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters (Eurojust) in the Joint Investigation Group.

Latvia also plans to seek additional resources to increase the capacity of the International Criminal Court to effectively investigate and punish war crimes committed by Russia. Furthermore, Latvia plans to strengthen the cooperation with the Ukrainian Forensic Expertise Bureau in order to document the war crimes committed by Russia with the goal of ensuring accountability

During the meeting, a joint political declaration was signed, agreeing on concrete actions to promote the accountability of leading Russian officials for the crime of aggression; to ensure more effective investigation of war crimes committed by Russia, as well as to recover reparations from Russia; to investigate the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children, as well as other issues.

As a continuation of her working visit to the Hague, on Wednesday, April 3, the Minister of Justice will also meet with representatives of Latvia at Eurojust and the International Criminal Court, as well as with the executive director of the recently established Ukrainian Register of Damages Markiyan Klyuchovski