Without accountability for Russia’s crime of aggression against Ukraine, wars could again erupt in other regions.
That claimed Anton Korynevych, ambassador-at-large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, during a panel discussion on “The New International Legal Order: How to find tools to protect peace and security in the future” at the international conference “Crimea Global. Understanding Ukraine through the South”.
According to the Korynevych, the current international law is insufficient to ensure justice and global security. He recalled the seventh point of President Zelenskyy’s Formula for Peace, which provides for the establishment of a special tribunal for the crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as the implementation of a mechanism for compensation for the damage caused to Ukraine as a result of the war started by Russia.
Anton Korynevych stated that Ukraine has to explore alternative avenues to restore justice due to Russia’s presence in the UN Security Council. Therefore, Ukraine needs the support of as many countries as possible, including those in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
An Armenian human rights activist, Araik Ghazaryan, analysed the factors that contributed to the final ratification of the Rome Statute by the National Assembly of Armenia. He noted that Armenia expects the International Criminal Court to prevent aggression on the territory of their country, including a possible attack by Russia.
The Russian side called the ratification of the statute a “hostile act” by Armenia, which is why, according to the human rights activist, Armenia seeks to use all possible tools to protect itself and prevent a possible Russian invasion.
Leopoldo Lopez, a Venezuelan political leader, pro-democracy activist, and Sakharov Prize winner, reminded that the ICC initiated the process against the current President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, under whose leadership many crimes against the country’s civilian population were committed. As the activist noted, the people of Venezuela cannot rely on domestic justice, so they are forced to turn to international institutions and rely on external influence.
On Lopez’s take, due to the lack of tools for implementing international law, changes in Venezuela are only general, as dictators seek to protect their regimes, so reforms are needed in this area.
Felix Maradiaga, academician, former presidential candidate and President of the Nicaraguan Freedom Foundation, pointed out the need to create a “democratic ecosystem” as opposed to dictatorial regimes that cooperate and use the same tools to carry out their crimes.
Using Putin as an example, Maradiaga demonstrated that the face of dictatorship is changing. It is no longer just a “classic 60s dictator in a tank”, as Putin has spent the last twenty years reforming to legitimise his crimes and create a “legal facade”. Other dictators are following Putin’s example, so democratic forces need to introduce changes to counteract dictatorship.
Feliks shared his memories from the time of his imprisonment when he first learned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during interrogation. He noted that the military in Nicaragua who interrogated him were happy to hear the news of Russian aggression, admitting that they had trained with the Russians.
He also stressed the need to reform the UN Security Council, as it is unacceptable that Russia should have a veto after all the crimes it has committed against Ukrainians and other peoples. He advocates for the creation of new approaches to supporting democratic movements.
Dictators have their own ecosystem.
Felix Maradiaga, academician, former presidential candidate and President of the Nicaraguan Freedom Foundation
According to him, criminal regimes train their people together, teach them intelligence, methods of pressure and persecution, and share their experiences with each other. The academician believes that democratic forces should also act more decisively and work to create effective legal instruments that can ensure a secure world order.
Concluding the discussion, Anton Korynevych noted that it is obvious to all of us that the illegal attempt to annex Crimea violates the international legal order. The lack of response to the grave violation of the UN Charter has created an opportunity for Russia to launch an aggressive war.
Korynevych stressed the need to join forces to demonstrate that dictatorial regimes are responsible for their crimes, and thus, together with international partners, the world needs to prevent future conflicts and wars.