On September 29, 2023, in Babyn Yar, Andrii Yermak discussed with foreign ambassadors the implementation of the seventh point of the Peace Formula - regarding the restoration of justice.
In fulfilment of the mandate of the President of Ukraine, the head of the Office of the Head of State, Andrii Yermak, held the ninth meeting with representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in our country regarding the implementation of Volodymyr Zelenskyi's Peace Formula. The event was dedicated to the implementation of the seventh point of the Formula "Restoration of Justice". Representatives of 76 countries were present physically and online at the meeting, which took place on the territory of the Babyn Yar National Historical and Memorial Reserve.
Andrii Yermak noted that the meeting is taking place in a place whose name has become a symbol of honouring the memory of the victims of the genocide. "The Nuremberg Tribunal forever branded both those who started the world war and those who carried out criminal orders," he said. At the same time, the head of the President's Office reminded that the victims of the repressions of Stalin's regime, in particular those shot in Kyiv's Bykivna, are still waiting for justice because the international community has not given a proper legal assessment to the actions of this bloody-minded regime, whose descendants are again committing torture and death. Andrii Yermak emphasized that the answer to the question about justice is contained in paragraph 7 of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which is based on the norms of international law and the UN Charter. "The way to end this war and to establish lasting peace lies only through the full restoration of justice. Only the quick and inevitable punishment of those guilty of the fundamental crime of aggression and subsequent war crimes, including genocide, will make it possible to avoid the repetition of aggressive wars in the future," he is convinced. Andrii Yermak reminded those present that a lot of work was done last year and important decisions were made at the international level. In particular, the Register of Damages for Ukraine has already started working in The Hague, to which applications for compensation of damages and evidence of their occurrence from victims of the war are received. The head of the Office of the Head of the State emphasized that it is necessary to move forward and introduce a compensation mechanism that will make it possible to collect reparations from the Russian Federation. "We are currently working on proposals for an appropriate international agreement. And we will be grateful if your governments join this work," he said. A briefing was traditionally held for the representatives of the diplomatic corps present, at which the Ukrainian vision regarding the implementation of the clause of the Peace Formula on the establishment of justice was presented. The adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Daria Zarivna, who moderated the event, noted that during the war, mass graves of the murdered and places of torture were constantly found in the liberated Ukrainian territories. That is why the theme of justice is the cornerstone of the Peace Formula and a necessary condition for achieving a truly lasting, just and comprehensive peace.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, emphasized that all those guilty of war crimes against Ukrainians should be brought to justice without any exceptions. According to him, there is no alternative to an international tribunal that will prove the guilt of the Russian Federation. "Ukrainians and the whole world demand justice, which must prevail thanks to joint efforts. And we must act now to prevent such crimes in the future," he said. Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin presented a work plan for item 7 of the Peace Formula, designed for 2023-2026. He noted that clause 7 of the Peace Formula is based on such pillars as ensuring effective investigation at the national level, ensuring responsibility for the crime of aggression, strategic partnership with international justice mechanisms, and promoting bilateral and multilateral interstate partnership for the investigation and prosecution of international crimes. Another of the fundamental issues is compensation and indemnity for damage and losses caused to Ukraine and Ukrainians by Russian aggression. Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Iryna Mudra noted that sovereign assets of the Russian Federation frozen in Western jurisdictions and funds of sanctioned Russian businessmen and oligarchs should become an important source of payment for decisions of the compensation mechanism, and work continues on the implementation of the corresponding action plan. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada, Khrystia Freeland, in her online speech during the meeting, reminded that her country has already provided for a legislative possibility to direct confiscated Russian assets subject to sanctions to support Ukraine and is ready to share relevant experience with other states. American economist, and honorary rector of Harvard University, Lawrence Summers, in his address to the audience, emphasized the importance of making timely consensus decisions already today. According to him, from the point of view of international law, it is absolutely legal to use the assets of the Russian Federation for the economic recovery of Ukraine and to support the victims of Russian aggression. Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Smirnov told the ambassadors about the search for the optimal format for a special international tribunal for committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Anton Korynevych, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, informed about the activities of the Core Group on the creation of a tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, in which 38 states have already been involved. Representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps spoke about the importance of the issue of justice and the work that Ukraine, together with its partners, is doing to implement the corresponding clause of the Peace Formula.
At the end of the meeting, Andrii Yermak thanked all those present and informed them that preparations have already begun for the next meeting of diplomatic advisers on national security and political directors of foreign policy departments of the world's countries regarding the key principles of restoring a stable and just peace for Ukraine.