MOSCOW, March 18 (RAPSI) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has instructed the Foreign Ministry to file an application with the International Criminal Court in the Hague (ICC) and the prosecutor’s office to initiate criminal proceedings against Russia over its “aggression” against Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
Yatsenyuk said at a government meeting that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had drafted an application to the ICC in accordance with the Rome Statute. The Prosecutor General’s Office is to immediately start criminal proceedings at the Hague court over Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine.
The Rome Statute was adopted in 1998 and came into force in 2002 and provides the basis for the operation of the International Criminal Court. However, Ukraine is not a party to the statute.
In April 2014, the Ukrainian government recommended that the Verkhovna Rada immediately ratify the Rome Statute, which Ukraine signed in 2000.
Yatsenyuk said that according to the Kiev Research Institute of Forensic Science, the statements made by the Russian president and defense minister “concerning the seizure and annexation of Ukrainian territory … contain evidence of the violation of international law.”
Ukraine, the United States and the EU have accused Moscow of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Russia has rejected the accusation as untrue and unsubstantiated, arguing that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian crisis and is not involved in the developments in southeastern Ukraine. At the same time, Moscow expressed hope that Ukraine would overcome its political and economic crisis.
The Russian Defense Ministry has said more than once that it does not supply military equipment, munitions or any other military assistance to the self-defense forces in Donbas. The ministry has denounced Kiev’s statements to the contrary as nonsense that is not worth replying to.