Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas Sunday asserted that Russia must be prosecuted for crimes of aggression when the war in Ukraine comes to an end. In an interview with the Associated Press, Kallas rejected the idea of ending the conflict with a peace deal and insisted that Moscow be held accountable for war crimes.At the Munich Security Conference Friday, Kallas discussed the importance of ensuring accountability for Russian crimes. Kallas claimed that, historically, Russia has never been held responsible for its crimes. She noted that “we had the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Tokyo Tribunal, but there has never been a Moscow Tribunal, and that has given Russia the impression that they will go unpunished.”The International Criminal Court (ICC) has the capacity to investigate war crimes, crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity. However, it cannot investigate Russia for the crime of aggression. Russia and Belarus are not parties to the Rome Statute, which created the ICC. Ukraine submitted to the jurisdiction of the court in 2014. However, due to a political compromise, nationals of non-state parties, i.e. Russia and Belarus, cannot be prosecuted for the crime of aggression.There is widespread support across EU leadership for holding Russia responsible for war crimes. Kallas noted that a number of countries are collaborating to establish an international special tribunal to prosecute Russia for the crime of aggression. In late January, members of the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging the EU, Ukraine and the international community to support the formulation of a tribunal.Kallas commented that “the crime of aggression is a crime of the Russian leadership. Putin and all other criminals must know that their judgment day will come. It is also a matter of not repeating the horrors of history again.”

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