17 May 2024

133rd Session of the Committee of Ministers
(Strasbourg, 17 May 2024)


2. United around our values

a. Council of Europe response to the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine



The Committee of Ministers

1.         reiterated its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the ongoing full-scale war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and of all alleged serious violations of international law arising out of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide against Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war, and all forms of conflict-related sexual violence and gender-based crimes;

2.         reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and reiterated its steadfast support for Ukraine and solidarity with its people, as reflected in the assistance provided by the Council of Europe through the Action Plan “Resilience, Recovery and Reconstruction” 2023-2026;

3.         welcomed the setting-up of the Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the agreement on the “Riga Principles” at the informal meeting of the Ministers of Justice on 11 September 2023 guiding the work of the Register, the establishment of an office in Kyiv, and the recent launch of the claims submission process at the Ministerial Conference on “Restoring Justice for Ukraine” in The Hague on 2 April 2024 and strongly encouraged further efforts to promote additional States joining the Register;

4.         reiterated that the Register is intended to constitute the first component of a comprehensive international compensation mechanism and committed to continue working, in co-operation with Ukraine and relevant international organisations and bodies, towards the establishment of such a mechanism, which may include a claims commission and a compensation fund;

5.         noted with satisfaction the progress made within the Core Group towards the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression, underscoring the international efforts to hold the political and military leadership of the Russian Federation accountable for its war of aggression against Ukraine, and emphasised that its Deputies have recently authorised the Secretary General to prepare any necessary documents to contribute to the consultations within the Core Group on a possible draft Agreement between the Council of Europe and the Government of Ukraine on the Establishment of a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine, including its Statute, and on a possible draft enlarged partial agreement governing the modalities of support to such a Tribunal, its financing and other administrative matters;

6.         welcomed the efforts of the Consultation Group on the Children of Ukraine established in November 2023 to facilitate dialogue and co-ordinate actions among member States, the European Union and relevant international organisations regarding policies for Ukrainian children residing in Council of Europe member States, as well as its recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities on reform of the child protection and care system;

7.         strongly condemned the forced placement of Ukrainian children under custody or for adoption by Russian citizens, and other violations of their dignity and rights; called for the active participation of international organisations in the Russian Federation and Belarus in identifying and assisting in the safe return of any forcibly transferred or unlawfully deported Ukrainian children; in this context, expressed its strong support for the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children, acknowledged the participation of 32 Council of Europe member States in it, and invited its Deputies to ensure that the Council of Europe co-operates with the Coalition, including through any relevant existing or future structures focusing on the situation and return of Ukrainian children deported and forcibly transferred by the Russian Federation;

8.         condemned the attempts of the Russian Federation to prosecute judges and prosecutors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) involved in the issuing of arrest warrants for Russian nationals in the context of the situation in Ukraine, including against Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, considering that any such retaliatory action constitutes a flagrant interference with judicial independence and the mandate of the ICC, as well as any other groundless attempts to prosecute officials of Council of Europe member States;

9.         welcomed the decision of the Swiss Federal Council to host a high-level conference on peace in Ukraine in June 2024 and commended the efforts of the Swiss authorities in this regard.