With overwhelming support, the EU Parliament has passed a resolution on the establishment of a tribunal on the crime of aggression against Ukraine. While the move is geared toward the creation of a special tribunal that would deal with cases of crimes against humanity in assistance to the International Criminal Court, it is a clear sign of the intent from the democratic community of not letting the war and those responsible walk free, be they Russians or not.
Europeans have chosen to lead a legal system to help deal with the war crimes cases, now counting over 52,000, with law firm offices around the globe working to record more daily. The EU Parliament’s resolution is a great intention of the diplomatic world to show Russia what awaits those involved in the killing and torture in Ukraine. However, despite the EU’s best effort, this news is unlikely to make a big difference as those implicated feel a strong sense of impunity, stoked by Russian propaganda. Instead, this move can make greater waves in the non-Russian collaborator circles, like Belarus.
The text of the document rules that “the special international tribunal must have jurisdiction to investigate not only Vladimir Putin and the political and military leadership of the Russian Federation, but also Aliaksandr Lukashenka and the political and military leadership in Belarus, as an enabling state, from the territory of which and with the logistic support of which the Russian Federation is committing its war of aggression against Ukraine, as it falls under the description of a crime of aggression according to Article 8 bis of the Rome Statute”.
Driving the message home, the resolution also instructs it to be forwarded to the Belarusian authorities, among others.
The fate of Lukashenka is sealed, having engaged in murder, torture and more at home, the Belarusian self-proclaimed president is unlikely to think twice over a threat of a tribunal. A different story develops with those surrounding him. Not protected by a personal fund that Lukashenko amassed after 28 years of rule, they also do not have the protection of a larger power, such as Russia. For the hordes of bureaucrats, generals and police, involved in allowing and facilitating the murder of Ukrainians from Belarus, knowing full well what is going on, it is time to realise that their die is being cast.
As the Europeans adopt a resolution that has limited political weight, they open the door to the UK. In creating a special tribunal, the UK has been the foremost locomotive. And the focus of the legal means of obtaining justice on Belarus may have additional benefit. With the UK able to openly recognise Belarus as a collaborator, as an occupied state, run by a terrorist government subservient to Russia, there is a chance for hope in a country that rose up against its oppressor only two and half years ago.