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Russia says would not recognize any EU-proposed court on Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov

Russia calls illegitimate the European Union’s plan for setting up a special tribunal over alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed formation of such court on Wednesday, saying the tribunal could hold Russian leadership responsible for ordering the alleged crimes.

Commenting on the proposal on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "As for attempts to establish some kind of tribunal: they will have no legitimacy, will not be accepted by us, and we will condemn them."

EU Ambassador to the United Nations Olof Skoog, meanwhile, said establishment of such an accountability mechanism was "legally quite complicated."

"We're working with Ukrainians on that, but first of all, there needs to be a conversation in the EU," Skoog said. "There is a European Council...in the middle of December when this will be discussed based on some options that have been put on the table."

Russia started the "special military operation" in its eastern neighbor in late February in order to defend the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev.

Back in 2014, the two republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

Ever since the beginning of the war, Kiev's Western allies, led by the United States, have been pumping Ukraine full of advanced weapons and slapping Russia with a slew of sanctions, steps that Moscow says would only prolong the hostilities.

Throughout the course of the military campaign, Russia has denied either targeting civilians or having committed any other war crimes, and has instead accused Ukraine's forces of breaching the international law.


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