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PACE adopts resolutions on Russia tribunal, sanctions, and condemning crimes against Ukrainians

27 June, 2024 Thursday
13:13

On June 26, the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly backed three resolutions on Ukraine: a tribunal for Russia, tougher sanctions, condemnation of crimes against Ukrainian identity

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Yevheniia Kravchuk, Deputy Head of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, member of the Permanent Delegation to PACE, reported the information.

The resolution was supported by 103 votes.

The document contains provisions to support Ukrainian culture and preserve Ukrainian identity. 

In particular, the resolution condemns Russia's systematic state policy of Russification, which has been implemented since 2014 in the occupied territories of Ukraine, including the denial of Ukrainian cultural identity, language, literature and history.

The document also states that the intentional destruction of cultural heritage and the erasure of cultural identity in Ukraine constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and indicate a specific genocidal intent to destroy the Ukrainian national identity.

According to Yevheniia Kravchuk, an important amendment on the oppression of indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation was adopted today: Russia is pursuing a policy of Russification against numerous indigenous peoples of the country, also gradually erasing their cultural identity and depriving them of their historical memory.

                                                                                                       Photo: facebook.com/yevheniya.khudzik

The PACE resolution calls on member states to:

  • ratify the Council of Europe conventions on the protection of cultural heritage
  • strengthen sanctions for arbitrary military destruction not justified by "urgent military necessity"
  • expand the scope of its legal regulation to include violations against cultural heritage, including cultural cleansing
  • provide for full reparations on the basis of international law, in particular through restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition of destruction
  • strengthen the capacity to combat trafficking in cultural property, in particular by sanctioning all those who carry out or facilitate the illicit movement of or trade in artifacts, conduct or organize illegal excavations, or use artifacts for their own purposes (exhibitions, auctions, scientific publications), and ensure that authorities and state institutions involved are held accountable for these actions
  • develop training for military, police, customs and justice officials to facilitate the prevention, investigation and prosecution of cultural heritage offenses
  • raise awareness of how propaganda, imperial and neo-imperial practices, including the ideology of the "Russian world" (“Russkiy mir”), can create the basis for violations of international law, including against cultural heritage
  • raise awareness of the targeted militarization of Ukrainian children in the occupied territories by Russia.

In addition, the document states that the organization's member states will assist Ukraine in collecting, recording, documenting and preserving evidence of crimes committed by Russia against tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Ukraine, in particular in order to assess damages and obtain reparations. Ukraine will also be assisted in digitizing cultural heritage sites and property, building institutions to ensure the best use of funding, improving heritage management, and carrying out reconstruction. The country will also be assisted in developing projects for cultural heritage, supporting cultural vitality and cultural exchanges, providing support and resources to artists, writers, musicians and other cultural professionals, and funding initiatives, grants and residency programs.

At the same time, the PACE adopted two more resolutions: on a special tribunal for Russia and on strengthening sanctions. PACE's website reported the information. 

The Assembly said that the special tribunal, established by agreement between the Council of Europe and Ukraine, is open to all states and organizations and is “the best feasible option, in terms of legal basis and political legitimacy” to bring Russia's political and military leadership to justice for its aggression against Ukraine. The parliamentarians emphasized that there can be no peace without accountability. 

In addition, the PACE called for the seizure and repurposing of Russian state assets to be transferred to an international compensation fund for Ukraine. The Assembly also suggested ways to eliminate "gaps and loopholes" in the current sanctions against Russia. The recommendations include listing and banning shadow fleet vessels, strengthening export controls, and holding parent companies accountable for the actions of their subsidiaries.

  • On May 28, the Committee on Culture of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized as instruments of Russia's war against Ukraine and elements of a genocide policy aimed at the destruction of the Ukrainian nation and erasure of Ukrainian cultural identity.
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