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Council of Europe creates damage register as ‘first step’ to compensate victims in Ukraine.

Forty countries have signed a damage register for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which was created by the Council of Europe (CoE) at a summit of heads of state and government in Reykjavik, the body reported.

The Council of Europe, which consists of 46 members, explained that 40 countries, including Spain, supported this initiative, which is the first step towards claiming responsibility for the war, and three others (Andorra). Bulgaria and Switzerland) have indicated their intention to do so.

The registry was also signed by the European Union (EU), which made a “substantial” contribution to the start-up costs, and the United States, Japan and Canada – which have observer status.

As they say, the initiative will be a record of evidence and information from February 24, 2022 on all affected individuals and legal entities, as well as the state of Ukraine, on damage, loss or damage. “Heads of State and Government have expressed their willingness to participate in international initiatives to further develop such a mechanism, which could include a complaints commission and a compensation fund, underscoring Russia’s commitment to pay for the damage caused by its war of aggression.”

“The first step” towards a compensatory mechanism

The Council’s Secretary General, Marija Pejcinović Burić, called the creation of the initiative “historic” in a statement, noting that supporting victims in accounting for their losses would be “vital” for any hypothetical compensation mechanism and is one of them. The first legally binding decisions “holding Russia accountable for its actions”.

Speaking to reporters at the meeting on Wednesday, Buric called the broad support “a success” and hoped that countries that had not signed the registry, including Hungary, would join in the future.

The Council of Europe emphasized that this is only a “first step” towards the establishment of an international compensation mechanism for victims of Russian aggression, which “will ensure that Russia compensates Ukraine in accordance with international law, including through assets located abroad.”

“The Council of Europe can and should play an important role in ensuring accountability.” The registration is an important step towards holding Russia accountable for its brutal war crimes and a strong message of support for Ukraine,” said Katrin Jakobsdottir, Prime Minister of Iceland.

The registry, based in the Dutch city of The Hague with a satellite office in Ukraine, was created over an initial three-year period and serves as “evidence of damages, losses and losses against Russia. Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal is “grateful” for the registry’s creation and “high level” of support, and has invited countries around the world to join the initiative.

A dozen leaders expressed support for the initiative at the first session of the summit this Tuesday, including French President Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni; and his British counterpart Rishi Sunak.

The Reykjavik summit, the fourth in the Council of Europe’s 73-year history and the first since Warsaw in 2005, was called late last year based on a previous report prepared by a high-level think tank with recommendations for the meeting. Challenges of war in Ukraine.

Since its inception in February 2022, the Council of Europe has condemned Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, which it describes as “unjustified and unprovoked aggression,” leading to Russia’s expulsion from the organization a month later.

At the meeting, member states also adopted a declaration on the situation of children in Ukraine, where they call on the Ukrainian authorities to support the immediate return of children illegally taken and deported by Russian forces. “All the perpetrators of these crimes against children must be punished. Aid should also be provided to member states that are temporarily hosting Ukrainian children,” the Council of Europe said in a statement.

Strengthening the Council of Europe

The summit – in which Spain was represented by its Foreign Minister José Manuel Albarez – concluded this Wednesday with a plenary session starting at 9:00 GMT.

As explained in the text, the leaders agreed to strengthen the Council of Europe and its work in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law by “adopting a declaration on democratic principles, renewing the European commitment. Convention on Human Rights and developing tools to meet new challenges in the field of technology and environment”.

In particular, they adopted the “Reykjavik Principles for Democracy”, a series of principles “that democratic states must respect, such as freedom of expression, assembly and association, independent institutions, an impartial and effective judicial system, the fight against corruption and the democratic participation of citizens. Society and youth “.

Source: El Diario





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