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28 April 2022 morning

2022 - Second part-session Print sitting

Sitting video(s) 1 / 1

Opening of the sitting No. 15

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Dear Colleagues,

The sitting is open.

Because Minister Luigi DI MAIO has arrived. I see that even my wife has arrived, sitting in the gallery. All conditions are fulfilled to start this session.

I remind members that in view of the high number of members physically participating in this Part-Session and the increase in the capacity of the Chamber, wearing a mask is compulsory. Speakers are allowed to take off their mask when taking the floor.

The first item of business is the communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly, presented by Mr Luigi DI MAIO, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co‑operation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

This will be followed by questions to Mr Luigi DI MAIO.

After his address he will answer these questions.

Mister Minister, I would like to welcome you. We are very pleased to have you here with us today and to have the opportunity to continue the discussions we started in Rome in November at the beginning of the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.

Mister Minister, our Assembly discussed yesterday and will discuss again today the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the need of ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law.

I would like to stress the excellent co‑operation and communication that took place between the Parliamentary Assembly and the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers together with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe during the crisis that we are facing.

The trialogue format allowed us to consolidate our discussions, ensuring greater co‑ordination and effectiveness of our work, which allowed us to speak with one voice when needed and to stand firm to our principles when the red lines set up by the Statute of the Council of Europe were crossed by the Russian Federation on the 24 February of this year.

As you know, Mister Minister, this resulted in one of the most difficult, historical, unique and sad decisions of the Committee of Ministers under the leadership of the Italian Presidency had to take in this organisation with the expulsion of the Russian Federation.

The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the decision of the Committee of Ministers because the Council of Europe acted firmly in synergy and in co‑ordination.

Mister Minister, in this second part-session we highly appreciate the active participation of the Italian Presidency as it greatly contributes to the Council of Europe's reflection on how to address the consequences of the Russians Federation's aggression, its role in the future architecture of Europe as well as to the challenges of post-war reconstruction.

Yesterday, Mister Minister, we had the honour of having his Excellency, the President of the Italian Republic, Mr Sergio Mattarella, addressing our Assembly. You know, Mister Minister, that it will not be an easy game to beat his performance yesterday in this hemicycle, but we are very much looking forward to your intervention now in our hemicycle and to your answering the questions of our parliamentarians.

Mister Minister, you have the floor.

Adress: Communication from the Committee of Ministers

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you Mr President of the Parliamentary Assembly,

Madam Secretary General of the Council of Europe,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Members of the Parliament,

Yesterday, from this podium, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, addressed a message to this hemicycle of awareness of the magnitude of the challenges ahead, but also of great confidence in the Council of Europe in the face of the challenges ahead and of recognition of the essential role played by the Parliamentary Assembly.

In this framework, I am very pleased to address this Assembly once again to report on recent developments within the Committee of Ministers, and to draw your attention to some initiatives of the Italian Presidency in areas of activity that are also of interest to the Assembly.

When I addressed the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on November 25, our organisation had 47 member States; today we have 46.

For the first time in the history of the organisation a member State has been excluded. The ouster of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe was made inevitable by the atrocity of the crimes committed in Ukraine. Not only did Russia unlawfully invade, in an unjustified manner, another member, but it continued its aggression in open violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The decision to exclude the Russian Federation was taken together with this Assembly: the opinion adopted unanimously on 15 March 2022 stating that the Russian Federation was no longer eligible for membership in the Council of Europe was, fully and promptly, taken up by the Committee of Ministers, which the following day made it its own by deciding that the Russian Federation should be excluded from the organisation.

The Committee of Ministers also decided to suspend all relations with Belarus, following that country's active participation in the aggression against Ukraine.

These are very significant decisions with practical, legal, and financial consequences, both for the countries involved and for our organisation. The Committee of Ministers quickly adopted the necessary interpretative measures. No longer being a member of the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation has, among other things, lost its right of representation in the Assembly and in practically all bodies of the Council of Europe.

It has also ceased to be a party to partial or extended agreements, such as the Venice Commission and Eurimages, as well as conventions open only to member States, such as the European Social Charter or the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism.

With regard to the European Convention on Human Rights, the Russian Federation will cease to be a party to it as of 16 September 2022. The European Court of Human Rights will continue to have jurisdiction to hear claims against Russia regarding possible violations of the Convention that occurred prior to this date.

The Ministers' delegates, assisted by their respective teams of rapporteurs, are working to resolve a number of outstanding issues relating to the membership of the Russian Federation in very specific agreements or bodies.

Delegates will also examine the financial consequences for the Council of Europe of the expulsion of the Russian Federation in order to mitigate its impact.

Although issues related to the aggression against Ukraine have been the focus of the Committee of Ministers' concerns over the past two months, the Committee has nevertheless continued its work in several other areas: on freedom of information and access to reliable, independent and accurate information. The Committee adopted a recommendation, calling on its 46 member States to create a favorable environment for quality journalism to play its indispensable role in the life of democracies.

The recommendation adopted on 17 March contains guidelines aimed at securing funding for quality media, building trust in journalism, and promoting media literacy. On the same day, the Committee also adopted a recommendation to promote the teaching of Holocaust history and to preserve knowledge of the crimes committed by the Nazis by integrating their memory into education and public policy.

Also in March, the Committee adopted new recommendations related to the fight against terrorism, the protection of witnesses and collaborators of justice, and in the field of criminal justice. On 6 April, it adopted guidelines to address the challenges posed to the legitimacy of electoral processes by new digital techniques of political communication, such as micro-targeting.

I invite you to explore these texts, if of interest, on the website of the Committee of Ministers.

In these months, the Italian presidency of the Committee of Ministers has also promoted activities on some of the priority issues of our programme: the fight against all forms of discrimination, the protection of cultural heritage, the development of artificial intelligence, the rights of the child, women's rights and youth policies.

On anti-discrimination, on 17 March, we hosted in Rome the fifth meeting of the Steering Committee of the Council of Europe Against Discrimination, for Diversity and Inclusion, and organised a high-level event on promoting equality and combating all forms of discrimination.

The event, attended by Italian politicians, government representatives, Council of Europe officials, and human rights activists, highlighted the achievements and initiatives underway in Italy in the areas of anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusion, particularly in relation to the inclusion of Roma and Camino populations, intercultural integration of migrants and refugees, and combating discrimination and intolerance on grounds of religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Less than a month after the conference, the Committee of Ministers adopted a new recommendation to member States on multi-level policies and governance for intercultural integration.

On the subject of protection of cultural heritage, the Conference of Ministers of Culture of the Council of Europe, held in Strasbourg on 1 April and opened by the Italian Minister of Culture, Mr Dario FRANCESCHINI, with the Secretary General Ms Marija PEJČINOVIĆ-BURIĆ, and high-level representatives of the statutory bodies, explored the value of creativity and cultural heritage as strategic resources for a diverse and democratic Europe.

Ministers called upon the Council of Europe to work on guidelines in view of the latest technological developments, in particular with regard to artificial intelligence, complementing the existing standards of the Council in the fields of culture, creativity, and protection of cultural heritage.

There was also a call for the adoption of a new recommendation on the role of culture as a means of tackling global challenges, a pan-European legal instrument to codify the rules for co-productions of European drama and television series, and a public financial instrument to support these projects.

At the center of the Ministers' reflections was also the situation in Ukraine, of course. The Ukrainian Minister of Culture and Information Policy, Oleksandr Tkachenko, addressed the conference. The participants pledged to prepare a future action plan for the preservation of Ukrainian heritage, through cultural co‑operation programs and by supporting the Year of Culture of Ukraine in Europe.

On the topic of artificial intelligence, a high-level event on the occasion of the inaugural meeting of the Artificial Intelligence Committee was held in Rome on 4 April in the presence of the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Bjørn BERGE, and the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Benedetto della Vedova.

The event focused on the use of artificial intelligence with respect to issues of human rights, ethics, business and child protection, and the need to find global solutions to the challenges posed by these technologies.

I believe that the Council of Europe, particularly through the work of the CAI, has a key role to play in the development of binding standards for the design and use of artificial intelligence systems that foster innovation while fully respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

On the topic of promoting children's rights, another priority of the Italian Presidency, the Committee of Ministers adopted last February its fourth strategy for the period 2022-2027, launched earlier this month at a high-level conference in Rome. The so-called Rome Strategy is developed along five strands: violence against children, child-friendly justice, non-discrimination, technology, and child participation.

A sixth strategic objective is the protection of children's rights in crisis and emergency situations. The conference, attended by the Secretary-General, the Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family, Elena Bonetti, and the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Della Vedova, offered tools and guidance to support the new strategy.

Taking as its starting point a message from Ukraine's first lady, Mrs Olena Zelenska, the Conference also provided an opportunity to raise the dramatic situation of children affected by the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine.

The Italian Presidency also devoted special attention to women's rights: we organised a high-level conference in Rome on 12 April on work-life balance as a lever for women's emancipation and the promotion of gender equality. The conference promoted a wide-ranging debate on effective measures to balance private and professional life, prevent gender discrimination, and overcome social and cultural obstacles.

I am confident that the conclusions of the Conference will serve as a solid basis for the future work of the Council of Europe in this crucial area.

Regarding the promotion of youth policies, I had the pleasure of speaking at the "Forum on the present and future of citizenship and human rights education in Europe", held in Turin from 11 to 13 April. The forum, fully integrating the spirit of our presidency and the values of the Council of Europe, aimed to support an education in the culture of democracy, and fundamental rights and freedoms, with an approach to the governance of the future that combines the commitment of the institutions with the wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication of civil society.

I would like to conclude by recalling that many of the issues I have reported on today, in particular the Council of Europe's response to Russian aggression against Ukraine, will be on the agenda of the ministerial session in Turin next month.

In the exercise of our presidency we have tried, with great commitment, also to provide a political space so that the voice of Ukraine could find the widest and most complete expression and we will confirm this commitment at the ministerial meeting in Turin.

Russian aggression and assistance to Ukraine, within the framework of the organisation's mandate, will remain the focus of the Council of Europe's work in the coming months. It is important for this reason that the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly, as well as the Secretary General, continue to work together, with the same commitment for which our extraordinary collaboration in guiding the organisation towards painful but necessary decisions has been distinguished.

This collaboration is increasingly critical to building a strong and effective Council of Europe. Investing in peace and democracy has never been more important than it is today.

We are at the beginning of a strategic reflection that will receive a strong political impulse from this Assembly and that will find in the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Council of Europe on 19 and 20 May in Turin, a high-profile framework to deepen principles and guidelines on which to articulate this process in the coming months.

In Turin we will be called upon, first of all, to reconfirm our commitment to support the central role of the Council of Europe and its principles, values and instruments in promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, in the context of the European institutional architecture.

This commitment is necessarily linked to the issue of the impact on the budget of the organisation of the loss of one of its five largest contributors and should hopefully make emerge in Turin the interest of all member States to invest in a framework of financial sustainability starting from the need to close the deficit for 2022.

In the framework of the ministerial meeting we could also examine the prospect of a fourth summit of Heads of State and Government, evaluating together the possible objectives, in the light of the renewed ambitions of the organisation.

Italy will continue to contribute to this action, beyond its presidency. I would like to extend my best wishes, on behalf of the entire Italian government, to the future Irish Chair of the Committee of Ministers, to whom we express all our support.

I also want to express my deep gratitude to this Assembly, to its President, to the Secretary General, for our excellent co‑operation, which is all the more essential in light of the tragic events we are experiencing.

Thank you all, and good work.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mister Minister, for briefing this Assembly on all the efforts that have been undertaken in the last months by the Italian Presidency. As the Council of Europe, we thank you very much for your most active involvement in that.

Also, I would like to thank you for informing us that there is more to do for the Italian Presidency, that you are preparing the ministerial conference in Torino, to take place in only a few weeks.

As you already discussed yesterday in private, neither you nor your ambassador could have ever imagined that this agenda would have, first and foremost, a full-fledged war in Europe on the agenda. You have to deal with it, and I complement the Italian Presidency for dealing with it in such a professional and accurate way. I wish you wisdom and strength, Mister Minister, because these are really challenging times for us.

As you know, we are parliamentarians. That means that we always have questions. There are quite a lot of members who have indicated their wish to ask questions.

We will first take the five representatives of the political groups.

Please, could you answer them one by one?

Then we take the remaining. I will try to group them in groups of three.

I remind members you have 1 minute to ask a question, not to deliver a speech.

First, I call Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, from Austria. He speaks on behalf of the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group.

Mister Stefan SCHENNACH, you have the floor.


Austria, SOC, Spokesperson for the group


Thank you, Mr President,

Dear Minister Luigi DI MAIO,

I will continue with the words of thanks and congratulations. This Italian Presidency was a great moment for all of us but it was also a sad time that we have to make the exclusion of a country, of a member state, which showed such criminal aggression against them another member state.

My question is we remember that in the time when the Russian Federation made the boycott we came in big financial turbulences. We talked about reducing monitoring, closing one youth centre, etc. Is there, at the moment, in the Committee of Ministers, a plan on how we can get this budget, not this incoming budget crisis? And I want to remind you that when the Russian Federation joined the Council of Europe, the member states reduced their fees in the past, but now it may be time to make it in another way.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mister Stefan SCHENNACH.

Mister Minister Luigi DI MAIO.

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you for that question.

It is clear that we are facing a major challenge, which is to affirm the principles and values of this institution, even in the face of the risk of losing a member of this institution, a member State.

With the action that we have shared, first you shared as members of this Assembly, then together with the Committee of Ministers, we have really shown what are the founding principles that inspire this institution to which we belong.

I want to make it clear. With respect to the conflict in Ukraine, many of the states represented in this important chamber, and therefore many of the Parliamentary Assemblies, know that we are doing everything to avert a World War. But the fact that we do not agree to intervene with weapons does not mean that we should do nothing.

We are using all peaceful means to contribute to the action of isolating Russia, because it is the only way we have right now to change Vladimir Putin's mind about the aggression he is perpetrating in Ukraine.

The action we have carried out, for which I want to thank the President Mr Tiny KOX and the Secretary General, has been sudden with respect to the expulsion and has shown how, in this moment in front of such a dramatic historical fact, beyond the differences, we can be united.

Despite the fact that the decision was very difficult, and represented, also for our Presidency, a decision that we did not take lightly, with ease, it is clear that we are proud to have defended the founding principles and values of this institution.

It must be clear that this does not disengage the institution from dealing with the rights of Russian civil society. Russian civil society needs this institution and the founding principles of this institution to defend itself against violations.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mister Minister.

The next question comes from Mr Vladimir VARDANYAN, from Armenia. He speaks on behalf of the Group of the European People's Party.

Mister Vladimir VARDANYAN, you have the floor.



Armenia, EPP/CD, Spokesperson for the group


Honourable Mister Minister,

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is the unique institution which we are privileged to live under as a single human rights environment. In recent years, we are facing the reluctance and failure of some member States to go in line with its rulings.

Essential judgments are not executed, interim measures and other rulings of the Court are not implemented, even after we have communicated with the Committee of Ministers, and even then, infringement procedures are launched.

One of the benchmark cases in this respect is the Osman Kavala case. There were the ECHR ruling demanding his release and the Committee of Ministers' reaction. Contrary to them, a life imprisonment sentence was announced a couple of days ago.

Mister Minister, I would like to ask what under the Italian chairmanship are you going to do to provide precise execution of ECHR judgments and interim measures communicated to the Committee of Ministers? How are you going to react to the national jurisprudence strictly contradicting the Court's case law?

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Vladimir VARDANYAN.

Mister Minister?

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you, Mister Chairman, and thank you for the question posed by the Honourable Member.

On the Osman Kavala case, the Committee of Ministers considered that by not securing the immediate release of the applicant, Turkey is refusing to abide by the final judgment of the Court.

Therefore, as a Committee, we have taken the exceptional step of initiating infringement proceedings under Article 46 paragraph 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, so that the Court can decide whether Turkey has failed to comply with its obligations under the Convention by failing to secure the immediate release of Osman Kavala.

In this context, we express, as you have already done, President Mr Tiny KOX, a serious concern about Monday's decision of the Istanbul Assize Court to sentence Osman Kavala to aggravated life imprisonment.

It is clear that as the Committee of Ministers, as the Chair of the Committee of Ministers, I can assure you that we will follow all further developments in this matter.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Minister.

Next question comes from Mr Dmytro NATALUKHA, from Ukraine. He speaks on behalf of the European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance.

Mr Dmytro NATALUKHA, you have the floor.


Ukraine, EC/DA, Spokesperson for the group


Good morning, Dear Mr Minister.

I would like to thank you, first of all, for your personal position, the position of the Government of Italy, a firm and courageous position in defending the values of freedom, independence and democracy, for showing true leadership, not only at the national level, but also at the European level.

Now, the question I would like to ask on behalf of the group, is this. Because of the war against Ukraine, the country will need billions of euros to restore its infrastructure and housing. Will we then be able to count on the Council of Ministers to exempt Ukraine from its Council of Europe membership contribution from this year until 2032?

Thank you very much.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Mr Minister.

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you President,

I want to divide the two areas.

First of all, Ukraine can count on the positive predisposition of Italy, with respect to this request and, beyond the Presidency, we will support it. Even beyond our Presidency.

At the same time, as you know, I also said it in my opening speech, we are evaluating a series of issues on financial sustainability as a whole with respect to the budget, due to the absence of the contribution of the Russian Federation. Certainly, we can also analyze this request as part of this work that we are carrying out, both with the General Secretariat, and in general also in co‑ordination with the Presidency of the Assembly, in order to guarantee financial sustainability as much as possible and, at the same time, to follow up on a request such as the one you have made.

I repeat, in any case, on the part of Italy there is a positive predisposition to this request.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Minister.

The next question comes from Mr Claude KERN, from France.

You have the floor.

Mr Claude KERN

France, ALDE, Spokesperson for the group


Dear Minister,

Vladimir Kara-Mourza, one of Russia's leading independent civil society figures, who has already been convicted of insubordination of law enforcement agencies, has been remanded in custody on the basis of a new provision, which makes the dissemination of "false information about the use of Russian armed forces" punishable by 10 years in prison. Sentenced for telling the truth about Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

What do you intend to do, at the level of the Committee of Ministers, to prevent Vladimir Kara-Mourza from being sentenced in a way that is clearly contrary to the values of the European Convention on Human Rights?

Since we have been discussing this week the strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union, would you agree, on behalf of the Committee of Ministers, to ask for the placement under European sanctions of the judges who contribute to this politically-motivated prosecution? I am thinking of Diana Mishchenko, Ilya Kozlov and Elena Lenskaya.

Rest assured that we will then intervene with the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union to support your request.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Claude KERN.

Mr Minister.

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you, Chairman.

Thank you to the questioner.

On this issue I want to say that, first of all, we have seen that, with respect to the situation of freedom of expression in Russia, immediately after the unjustified attack on Ukraine, the situation has even gotten worse.

We've seen arrests of thousands of people just for the sole reason of participating in protests against Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine. On this I think it's very important to keep a close eye.

On the legal side, I can say that the resolution adopted by the European Court of Human Rights, on 22 March, according to this resolution, the Strasbourg Court remains competent to deal with claims against the Russian Federation in relation to acts or omissions capable of constituting a violation of the Convention, provided that they occurred before 16 September 2022. The matter could, therefore, be the subject of an application to the Court.

On an institutional level, I would like to remind you that the Council of Europe is not precisely competent to decide on sanctioning measures. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the position that I have repeatedly expressed: that Italy does not veto the sanctioning proposals of the European Commission, and certainly co‑ordination with the French Presidency is at its highest. We continue to exercise it with the aim of increasing as much as possible the pressure on Russia with respect to this attack.

On a political level, the question raises the issue of respect for human rights in a Russian Federation that is no longer part of the Council of Europe. This issue is a matter of reflection and concern for all of us, and we must ask ourselves what we can do to support human rights defenders in this new context.

I think that this issue will have to remain on our common agenda for the future, but in the immediate future the meeting in Turin must begin to address this issue that you have raised, in close connection with all the other European institutions, starting with the European Union.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Minister.

Now the last question on behalf of the political groups comes from Ms Nina KASIMATI from Greece.

Nina, this time we do not have connection problems. You tried to participate online earlier this week, but now you are live here in the hemicycle.

So, please, ask your question to the Minister.


You have to use the silver microphone.


Greece, UEL, Spokesperson for the group


Thank you, Mr President.

Honourable Minister DI MAIO,

Given the sanctions against Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine, a tragedy which is not unprecedented in Europe since the Second World War, which tools, the Committee of Ministers, being, par excellence, the supervisory mechanism of the application of the Statute of this Organisation, shall employ, under the Italian Presidency, in order to deal effectively and in a consistent manner with any occupation, fait accompli, directed by one Council of Europe member state against another?

Namely, I'm referring to the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus for 48 years now.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Ms Nina KASIMATI.

Mr Minister.

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Yes. Thank you.

It is clear and evident that, as I said at the beginning, the decision we have taken on the Russian Federation clarifies not only the determination to pursue our goals and to defend our principles as an institution, as the Council of Europe. In particular I speak as the Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, but at the same time, we demand respect with even the highest sanction, which in the case of Russia was expulsion.

In any case, I believe that this inclusive format, such a wide format, which allows us to be a forum not only for the promotion of initiatives, but also for dialogue between member States, should be used to the maximum to overcome some crises, which in the case of the Mediterranean, have also seen deep tensions, great divisions.

If we also look at it from the point of view of the European Union, we know very well how much the question you have raised, with regard to the situation in Cyprus. I have visited the buffer zone, I have obviously visited my European counterpart. The work we must continue to do is to promote, also with the Council of Europe, the action of the United Nations in order to reach a political solution that guarantees the principles and the rights claimed.

We find ourselves in a Council of Europe that, as I said, is a broad format that allows us to promote dialogue among member States as well. We continue to do so, but I can tell you that you can always count on Italy to reach a final solution with respect to the Cyprus crisis.

We know that it is a wider crisis that concerns the Eastern Mediterranean, that concerns the use of energy resources of the Mediterranean, of natural resources. We as Italy have proposed some years ago an important document on the common goods of the Mediterranean, on how to exploit and use the resources in the best way without entering into conflict.

It is clear and evident that the principle of sovereignty and integrity of a state must always be protected. Therefore, I agree with you.


Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Luigi DI MAIO.

If you agree, we will now take 3 questions together, and then I will give you the floor to answer. 

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


The next question is from Mr Bernard FOURNIER, from France.

You have the floor.


France, EPP/CD


Dear Minister,

In the framework of the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, you have organised an event on the Lanzarote Convention, co-organised with the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

That week, we discussed strengthening the strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union and coordination of the actions of the two organisations, which will have to be rethought in the new geostrategic context we are experiencing.

Nearly at the near end of this presidency of the Committee of Ministers, can you tell us how the two presidency worked to organise and promote the event on the Lanzarote Convention and, more broadly, share with us your vision of the partnership to be strengthened between the Council of Europe and the European Union?

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mister FOURNIER.

The next question comes from Mr Piero FASSINO, your compatriot, Minister.

Mr FASSINO, you have the floor.


Italy, SOC


Thank you, Minister.

I would also like to thank you for the vigorous, strong and authoritative way in which you have led the Italian Presidency.

My question obviously still concerns the Ukrainian affair. That is, we are in a second phase of the military offensive by Russia, which after having withdrawn from the Donbass, sets itself the objective of conquering the Donbass and the Ukrainian Black Sea coast. We are faced with a very strong response from the coalition of democratic countries on the basis of the decisions taken in Ramstein. All this, however, poses a great risk, namely, that of further escalation of the military dynamic, with all the dramatic and unpredictable consequences that can happen.

At the same time we are faced with a statement by Vladimir Putin, in the conversation with António Guterres, who says "without Donbass and Crimea there is no negotiation", thus proposing a situation of wall against wall.

Here, how do you see the perspective from here on, and what can the Italian-led Committee of Ministers still do to try to work for a truce, which puts and allows to stop the weapons and opens a space for a negotiated solution and a political solution?

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr FASSINO.

The next question comes from Ms Laura CASTEL, from Spain.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Ms Laura CASTEL is online.

Laura, you have the floor.


Spain, UEL


Thank you.

Thank you Chair and Mr Luigi DI MAIO.

We are deeply concerned about the deprotection of citizenship before deep state structures using spyware tools for surveilling illegally the defenders of self-determination rights.

Well, two days ago the Secretary General said that when confirmed, the Council of Europe has organisms for protecting civil society. Well then, the Spanish government yesterday admitted in Parliament, that they have spied us. Spain is a supposed democracy but the reality shows that Spain – like Turkey, with the HDP colleagues and the Demirtaş and Kavala cases – persecutes dissidents illegally because they cannot win legally at the polls.

What will the Committee of Ministers do in order to protect civil society against these scandals of persecuting dissidents? What type of sanctions does the Committee of Ministers perceive for these cases? And for the case of Kavala and the non-compliance of judgments of the Court? We should debate other coercive mechanisms. This is abuse and clearly we cannot expel every member state.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Ms Laura CASTEL.

I remind members that 1 minute is 1 minute. Some languages take a little bit more time, but nevertheless.

Mister Minister, could you please answer the three questions?

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you, Mister Chairman.

I would like to start with the question on the Lanzarote Convention, which has been asked. I would like to thank you for mentioning this event and the event that the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the French presence of the Council of the European Union have organised.

This collaboration is a strong and heartfelt testimony of the interest of the two organizations to co‑operate in an ever closer form. The Council of Europe and the European Union have developed a strategic partnership built on the shared ideals of peace and democracy.

I believe that the Council of Europe is the natural space for dialogue and confrontation in which to promote a culture of democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The European Union is the main partner of the Council of Europe in political, financial terms and in the implementation of the rule of law.

The report that this Assembly adopted last week refers to the need for further strengthening of co‑operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union, and this is a wish that we can only fully share.

The Committee of Ministers remains strongly committed to the process of accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights. It is an accession that will give further impetus to the relations between our two organisations, providing a solid perspective to define the role of the Council of Europe in the framework of the deepening of the strategic partnership with the European Union.

The accession of the European Union to the ECHR, a long-standing political objective of the European Union that Italy has always shared, supported together with the European Union, we will strive as a member and founding State to ensure that the accession takes place in a prepared manner following an exhaustive examination of all possible internal consequences. This so that the participation of the Union in the ECHR allows fully to refine the framework of protections and fundamental rights that is already guaranteed by the Union, without any shadow cones remaining.

We are fully committed to this.

With regard, of course, to the question posed by President Piero FASSINO, I would like to make it clear that from day one we have supported Ukraine, both as chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. We have demonstrated this also with the decision on the expulsion of the Russian Federation. Also at the bilateral level we have pursued both the commitment of financial support, the commitment of humanitarian support and the commitment of military support. Certainly, the defense ministers' summit in Ramstein a few days ago was a further development in co‑ordinating support for the Ukrainian military.

At the same time, we always have as a very clear objective, that of wanting to achieve peace through a negotiated solution, a political solution, a diplomatic solution, which obviously starts from the availability of the invaded sovereign state, which is Ukraine, and it is the Ukrainian people.

There are certainly aspects that we must take into account. First of all we have supported and will continue to support as Italy, the efforts of a country that is trying to facilitate this negotiation, such as Turkey, a facilitation that has already seen two meetings, and that must continue, as an effort, because we can not absolutely surrender to the idea that this war should continue indefinitely.

On the other hand, each of the states represented here, in the various international fora, has carried out initiatives to increase the pressure on the Russian Federation through exclusion from the formats. I must say that the Council of Europe was one of the first in the world, but then we had many other cases, such as the United Nations Human Rights Committee, one of the other important and striking cases.

Third, the economic sanctions imposed by the largest economies in the world that have been an additional impact on the Russian economy in no small measure. Obviously, when we find a country that is part of the UN Security Council and is a nuclear power directly involved in the conflict, we are not able to reason with the schemes that we have always applied in the past to some conflicts.

Today, what I think and what we must have at heart is to work for a diplomatic and political solution, but waiting now for signals of willingness for peace from Vladimir Putin, because there is no minimum security that by stopping the support to the Ukrainian army, Vladimir Putin will stop.

This is an issue that we have to keep in mind, otherwise we risk making easy rhetoric with respect to support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian army. Having said that I would also like to say that we are proud of all the United Nations, non-governmental, human rights organisations that we are supporting both as the Council of Europe, with various statements that we have made, all the humanitarian effort on the ground to help the most fragile in Ukraine. I think we should continue in promoting every effort to ensure maximum humanitarian assistance.

In conclusion, our commitment to the diplomatic solution goes through three levels: local ceasefire, general ceasefire, and peace agreement.

Being among the countries that are part of those who have put themselves forward as guarantors for an agreement on security and peace in Ukraine also allows us to follow the state of the negotiations. As the President of the Italian Republic also said, we have to be very cautious about the outcomes. We must not give up on the idea that we have to start guaranteeing ceasefires there where this war, in the areas of Ukraine where this war is, is massacring thousands of people, where probably only at the end of this war, which we hope will come as soon as possible, we will really see what the Russian army has done to the Ukrainian population.


Thank you.

Instead I wanted to respond also, of course, to the request of the parliamentarian, the member of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ms Laura CASTEL, on the topic of spyware in general, spying software.

We agree that the application of this spyware, outside of a framework of rules, raises questions, concerns on a political, ethical and legal level.

In my opinion, the issue must be brought within the framework of respect for human rights, just as the questioner said, of the safeguards and protections provided at national level to ensure full respect for violated rights. As always, however, after having used all levels and avenues of appeal within a state, the relevant cases can be brought to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights.

A point on which we have given our utmost commitment, as presidency on duty at the Committee of Ministers, has been the issue of artificial intelligence and the ethics of artificial intelligence, of the distorted use of artificial intelligence. It is an issue that we absolutely must not underestimate. The application of algorithms is also about spyware. We have to be very careful in analysing these kinds of technologies, and bring back to our principles and values these kinds of technologies, bringing forward all the actions and initiatives that we could implement together to prevent these technologies from getting into the wrong hands or being used to violate human rights.

Thank you very much, dear President.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Minister.

As I would really like to accommodate all members who want to ask a question, if you allow me now, we'll take the last five questions together. I ask colleagues to be brief. That means you do not need the whole minute to ask the question. Then, the Minister can conclude.

First on the list is now Ms Arusyak JULHAKYAN, from Armenia.

You have the floor.

One minute.


Armenia, NR


Thank you, Mr Chair.

Thank you, Mr Minister for your speech.

My question is the following:

When it comes to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Council of Europe supports the role of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship in finding a comprehensive and lasting political solution.

With Armenian prisoners of war still in illegal captivity in Baku, ongoing threats towards the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as actually state-sponsored anti-Armenian hatred, what can the Council of Europe do in addressing the humanitarian consequences of the 2020 war and to promote a peaceful resolution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Ms Arusyak JULHAKYAN.

The next question comes from Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI from Italy.

Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI, one minute.


Italy, SOC


Thank you, Mr President, and thank you, Minister.

In the meantime, I too would like to join in the thanks expressed by my fellow members for the way in which you have led the six-month Presidency at this very difficult time for everyone.

The empowerment of women and, in particular, the balancing of private and working life with a view to achieving true gender equality has been one of the priorities of the six months of the Italian Presidency and also a priority of Council of Europe Strategy 18-23.

I, therefore, ask you how this issue has been addressed, and what actions have been taken in order to achieve it.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI.

The next question comes from Mr Armen GEVORGYAN, from Armenia.

Mr Armen GEVORGYAN, one minute.


Armenia, EC/DA


Mr Minister,

Far too often in this Parliamentary Assembly we hear claims by the members of the Azerbaijani delegation that there is no Nagorno-Karabakh conflict anymore; that there is no negotiation process within the frameworks of the OSCE Minsk Group.

I thought such claims would be addressed mostly to their domestic audience, but not to the Council of Europe, where many know for a fact that the conflict has not yet been resolved in a sustainable way.

The Karabakh issue cannot be closed only by denying its existence.

I can assure you that the Armenian people are driven by a sense of responsibility and a desire to ensure stability and prosperity in the region, where all people will live and develop in freedom and dignity.

So my question is: to what extent are the three main principles for the settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh developed within the OSCE Minsk Group relevant to the Committee of Ministers today?

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Armen GEVORGYAN.

Next question comes from Mr Halil ÖZŞAVLI.

Mr Halil ÖZŞAVLI, you have the floor.

One minute.


Turkey, NR


Thank you, Mr Chair.

Dear Minister,

Pushbacks violate the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and other treaties to which Greece is a party.

Due to the pushbacks exercised by Greece in the Aegean Sea, we witness a shift in the migration route towards Italy.

This route is more dangerous and increases migrant pressure on the target country, as what is happening in Italy now.

What would be your assessment regarding this current situation?

One more: taking into consideration the recent achievements in Libya, thanks to Turkey's assistance, would you agree it would be better if the European Union cooperated more with Turkey on the Libya issue?

Thank you very much.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much Mr Halil ÖZŞAVLI.

The last question is online and it comes from Mr Antón GÓMEZ-REINO from Spain.

Mr Antón GÓMEZ-REINO, one minute.


Spain, UEL


Thank you, Mr President.

Good morning, Mr Luigi DI MAIO.

Good morning, Minister.

The terrible war that there is in Ukraine, motivated by the unacceptable invasion of the government of Vladimir Putin, must focus all our efforts to stop the agression, especially to build diplomacy and peace.

That it is a terrible war can not lead us to think only in terms of war. We have so many challenges at the democratic level, at the global level. We also have a debate that we are many working to articulate a more egalitarian, more democratic and more balanced international order based on a commitment to democratic multilateralism and especially think that they can not have great powers that determine the future of all, if not between balanced geopolitical relations.


In this heard, as a minister member of the Italian Republic and especially as a member, part of this Council of Europe, designed to ensure peace in Europe and in the world, how do you think we should work to avoid scenarios like what happened years ago in Syria, like what happened in North Africa or in the Caucasus, and especially to build other forms of proximity with our neighbours in Europe, and also with our brothers in Latin America?

How we must work to build a scenario of global peace?

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Mr Minister, quite diverse questions to you and only a few minutes left. I wish you well to answer them.

Mr Luigi DI MAIO

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe


Thank you, Chairman.

On the issues posed with respect to the South Caucasus as we know, following the ceasefires agreed in 2020 in 2021, now all parties must work to ensure peace and stability.

By joining the organisation in 2001, Armenia and Azerbaijan are committed to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict. Both countries, of course, are committed to acting in accordance with what are the guiding principles of this organisation.

Gestures of humanity, such as the release of prisoners for example, and respect also to the fate of missing persons, are important to build mutual trust and show willingness for peace.

As you know, as has also been said by the questioners, the Council of Europe has no mandate to be involved in peace negotiations, but within the limits of its mandate it will support any effort that helps a rapid evolution towards a peace agreement. During his recent visit to Baku, the Secretary General indicated that the Council of Europe will take initiatives on activities to engage civil society representatives from Armenia and Azerbaijan and new confidence building measures.

On this initiative the Secretary General has my full support. We should also ensure that all parties respect our common values, human rights standards, including under the European Convention on Human Rights. In this regard there are also proceedings, as you know, pending before the European Court of Human Rights relating to the events of the conflict.

The outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine does not lead to neglect the issues underlying the unstable situation in the Caucasus. On the contrary, the war unleashed by Russia underlines the importance of the concepts of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We have taken note of the meetings at the highest level between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held on 6 April in Brussels, a few days after my visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan. We hope that a peace treaty can be negotiated between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the near future.

Italy is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group and, beyond its presence in the Minsk Group, is ready to offer its contribution, requested by the parties, in the framework of this process.

Instead, in response to Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI. She raised a fundamental issue, that of our commitment to women's rights, to their protection from all forms of violence, which are among the priority objectives of our Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

We did so in particular with the awareness of the asymmetrical and unbalanced impact that the pandemic has had on the progress of women's progressive emancipation in the labour market and in society. During the pandemic, and immediately after the pandemic, the economic and social effects of the pandemic were certainly greater, with a devastating effect on women.

In the most acute phase of the closure and restrictions, of the closures and restrictions related to the pandemic action, this acute phase was accompanied by the growth of episodes of domestic violence, gender-based violence.

We are well aware of this. This emergency has made our commitment to promote services to help families, the full participation of women in the labour market, the full involvement of women in decision-making processes generated by the decrease in the presence of women in the labour market, as a result of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic, even more people.

The empowerment of women directly related to the prevention of violence against women, including economic violence. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women, domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, approved in April 2011 by the Committee of Ministers, remains the most advanced instrument at the multilateral level to combat violence against women and domestic violence. In my opinion we must increase all outreach actions that serve to make as many countries as possible adhere to this very important convention.

Moving on to another issue that has been raised, which is migration and in particular in the Mediterranean, also with a focus on collaboration on Libya. I believe, first of all, that the challenges we are facing are unprecedented challenges. Even before the war in Ukraine we have seen what migration challenges are, which are caused by war, terrorism, violation of human rights and the rule of law, democratic standards.

We have to face these challenges with a common responsibility. A relevant example of how to address it is the draft recommendation currently before the Committee of Ministers on the protection of the rights of women of migrant girls, refugees and asylum seekers.

In light of the competencies of the Council of Europe, I would like to express deep concern about any kind of refoulement, in general, and recall that refoulements at the borders of member States are contrary to international legal obligations, including the European Convention on Human Rights.

I would also like to draw attention to the recent recommendation of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to governments and parliamentarians of member States, in which the widespread occurrence of refoulements and related human rights violations at land and sea borders is evoked, and the recommendation addresses key areas, including the important role of parliamentarians, parliamentarians who can play in preventing refoulements, a role as guarantors of human rights. That is by no means a dynamic to be underestimated.

I very much agree with the increasingly broader collaboration with regard to Libya, which is one of the gateways to the Mediterranean through which thousands and thousands of migrants transit. With regard to the issue of multilateralism and how to avoid crises such as the one we are witnessing, but also those we have seen in Syria, in Libya itself and in other parts of the world, in the South Caucasus... we have to start with an assumption. The answer to how best to use multilateralism is in multilateralism itself.

The moment of impasse in the United Nations Security Council that we are experiencing at the moment, with respect to the Ukraine crisis, but as you know it is affecting so many other crises as well, requires us –and I will conclude, Mr President– to move forward on the reform of the Security Council, of which Italy has always been a promoting nation within the United Nations organisations.

At this time multilateralism must be strengthened. Where it is weakening as a result of this crisis, it necessarily requires reforms that we have had in the drawer for twenty years and that at this time must be accelerated.


Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Mr Minister,

May I thank you very much for answering all the questions of our members.

May I also thank you for the fact that during this Part Session the Italian Presidency has been with us at the highest possible level. We really appreciate that in this way you show your respect for this Parliamentary Assembly which is one of the statutory organs of the Council to Europe.

We are really looking forward to the next days and weeks to come. We are looking forward to the very important ministerial conference in Turin.

I wish you well and strength and a lot of wisdom. Thank you very much for being here with us, Mr Minister. Thank you very much.

Dear colleagues, the next item of business this morning is a debate under urgent procedure – the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine: ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law, which you find in Document 15510.

That will be presented by Mr Aleksander POCIEJ on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

As I mentioned earlier in my opening remarks on Monday, the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its consequences are naturally the main focus of this session. 

Yesterday we adopted the report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy prepared by our colleague Mr Frank SCHWABE, in which we have not only reconfirmed our condemnation of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as our solidarity with Ukraine and its people, but also called to support the effective investigation and prosecution of the war crimes and other violations of the international humanitarian law, including those through setting up an ad hoc international criminal tribunal.

The debate which will start now will further develop these ideas and propose concrete measures for that implementation.

But dear colleagues, before going into that debate, I wish to say thatmy thoughts and I think also your thoughts are also with all those people who are at this moment still facing risks of death in war-torn areas. I wish to emphasise that our top priority is to do everything we can to end the suffering of people in Mariupol, Izyum, and other towns and villages in eastern and southern Ukraine which are at this very moment shelled by Russian forces.

Therefore, I wish again, and strongly urge the Russian authorities to fully at least respect their obligations under the Geneva Conventions and to take all necessary steps to allow safe and speedy evacuation of civilians from these areas. I also call on all the relevant international agencies, including the United Nations agencies and the Red Cross, to facilitate the opening and effective functioning of the humanitarian corridors there.

Now, I wish to open the debate.

I expect to conclude the list of speakers at about 12:50 p.m. Then we will take the reply and the votes.

I now call Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, rapporteur. As you know you have 7 minutes to present the report and then you will have a further 3 minutes to reply at the end of the debate.

You have the floor Mr Aleksander POCIEJ.


Debate under urgent procedure: The Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine: ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law and other international crimes

Mr Aleksander POCIEJ

Poland, EPP/CD, Rapporteur


Thank you very much, Mr Tiny KOX. 

Thank you very much, President, for this introduction and your words. 

We have indeed been, as the Presidential Committee, to Ukraine. We witnessed the big courage and the struggle of our Ukrainian friends. That was very, very instructive.

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday we had an excellent discussion on the report by the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy on the consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, in general.

Today, we have before us a report by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on a closely related issue. My report focuses on the need to ensure accountability of the perpetrators of the violation of international humanitarian law and other international crimes.

These are some of the many legal and human rights aspects on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which the Legal Affairs Committee will deal with in another report under the normal procedure in due course in the future.

The accountability issues covered by this urgent report are, indeed, urgent. The aggression rages on, and day after day new allegations of war crimes appear. After the discovery of the horrific crimes that appear to have taken place in Bucha, confirmed by satellite, by the images and ample witness testimonies, President Putin demonstratively awarded collective owners to the 64th Motor Rifle Brigade, which operated in Bucha precisely at the time of the massacres and which was finger-pointed by witnesses.

This sends a terrible, a really terrible,  message to the survivors and the relatives of the victims. An even more dangerous message is to the Russian forces that are still operating in Ukraine, namely "don't worry, don't worry about the rules of law, of war, go on acting like the 64th Regiment. You will not be punished for any violation, even on the contrary."

We must urgently today send a signal in the opposite sense. Violation of international humanitarian law and any other international crimes will be investigated and prosecuted by the international community. The perpetrators will eventually be held to account. War crimes and the other international crimes appear to continue in Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, towns and villages, which are under the temporary control of Russian troops. The message of refusal of impunity must, therefore, be sent right now.

My report focuses on pointing out ways and means to ensure this accountability on individual perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible genocide. I still say "possible genocide" despite the news we hear about alleged mass killings and deportations.

The accountability of individual perpetrators of war crimes should be ensured by the International Criminal Court. Its prosecutor has been granted jurisdiction by Ukraine over the entire Ukrainian territory since 2014. In addition, national authorities should be encouraged to exercise their universal jurisdiction to prosecute international crimes. They should do this in close co-ordination and with the ICC prosecutor. It is important to avoid any double work, or worse, contradictions. This is best done in the form, in my opinion, in the form of joint investigation teams, such as the one already set up between Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania. Such so-called JITs allow for direct co-operation between the police forces and prosecutors of different countries without having very difficult, diplomatic channels. That is what we recommend.

Unfortunately, the ICC will not be able to investigate and prosecute the crime of aggression. This crime has been recognised for a long time, but the ICC can only deal with it if –if– it is seized by the UN Security Control Council resolution. As we all know, this would be voted against by Russia. The solution proposed by many important political leaders and academics, and since Thursday, also by the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of this organisation, is to create a special ad hoc tribunal for the investigation of a possible crime of aggression by the political and military leadership of the Russian Federation. Such a tribunal could be set up, notably, by way of a multilateral treaty between a group of like-minded countries, as many as possible, of course, in my view, which would be endorsed by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. Let us not forget that the General Assembly has almost unanimously voted the condemnation of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

In addition, the European Union and, not least, the Council of Europe, could provide their political and technical assistance for quickly setting up such a tribunal and its operation.

I propose that the ad hoc tribunal should be headquartered in Strasbourg, which would facilitate the co-operation and ensure synergy with the European Court of Human Rights.

Let us not forget that the Court is already dealing with numerous interstate and, indeed, individual applications related to human rights violation during the Russian war of aggression.

Thank you very much for your attention and I would like to listen to your opinions and I will answer all opinions.

Thank you very much.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Mr Rapporteur.

I compliment you for your presentation.

You will have the opportunity to answer at the end of the debate that is now going to start.

First, with the five speakers on behalf of the political groups, and then with a long list of speakers.

Again, I call on your solidarity and your discipline to stay within the three minutes.

The less time you use, the more chance you give to a colleague to participate in this important debate as well.

First, I call in the debate Ms Yevheniia KRAVCHUK, from Ukraine. She speaks on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Ms Yevheniia KRAVCHUK.

Ms Yevheniia KRAVCHUK

Ukraine, ALDE, Spokesperson for the group


Thank you, dear colleagues.

I'm really honoured to open this debate. First, before we go to these legal terms, about the court, about perpetrators, and how to get them, I would like to remind you why are we here talking about this.

I want to tell you a story of Mykola Mykytchyk from the village of Katyuzhanka, Kyiv region. As well as millions of Ukrainians, he can't come here and tell his story, but I can't do it. He is a school principal, Mykola Mykytchyk. What he told: we had 40 new laptops and 50 computers in our schools, Russian soldiers stole everything. They made a toilet for themselves in the classrooms. The houses in which they lived were completely robbed. They organised a torture chamber in the school basement and held prisoners from various towns and villages of the Kyiv region. They mutilated people and filmed it. More than 10 corpses were found in the school basement.

I am convinced that all this should be told in the international court, what he said. What can the international community say to Mr Mykytchyk to let him find peace in his heart? Justice, right? The persecution of perpetrators. What do we need to ensure that justice? We need the system of international criminal responsibility strengthened by the action taken at the domestic level.

I want to congratulate this Assembly because we are the first international organisation to put this recommendation, to establish that ad hoc international criminal tribunal to investigate and prosecute the crime of aggression committed by the political and military leadership of the Russian Federation.

We need a comprehensive accountability system for gross human rights breaches including those crimes under international criminal law. The Council of Europe can mobilise its resources to do that. The Council of Europe member States as well as the Council of Europe itself should step up their efforts to ensure that such system operates and is efficient, allowing for real prosecution and punishment of those responsible for these crimes. Not only the troops and so-called soldiers of the so-called Russian army, but also those in hierarchy of command.

The massive use of uncontrolled violence in the occupied or temporary occupied territories was cruelly coordinated by the command in Moscow and the Kremlin and supported by propaganda with state media. This propaganda should be in criminal tribunal court, but not at the [unintelligible word]. Moreover, the issues of damages, compensations, reparations, others measures, insurance from the state's liability in international law should be discussed. The Council of Europe should provide immediate support to Ukraine authorities in establishing such mechanism.

We cannot let Mr Mykytchyk down. We cannot let Ukrainians down, who are waiting for this justice and truth.

Today everyone should ask themselves: what have I done to help?

Thank you so much.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you so much, Ms Yevheniia KRAVCHUK.

Next in the debate I call Mr George KATROUGALOS, from Greece. He speaks on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.


Greece, UEL, Spokesperson for the group


Thank you, Mr Chair.

It is very logical, after having unanimously condemned politically the Russian aggression to Ukraine, to discuss now the legal accountability, especially regarding war crimes, and the crime of aggression. We should all stand unanimous in that.

We have objected to a part of the report that is related to the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal.

I remind you that the political has outvoted a similar proposal. This proposal has been subsequently voted at the plenary, at the last extraordinary session, after an agreement of the political parties of which we were not part. We voted the resolution then, and we are going to vote again for the resolution now, because we believe that the strength of our voice is dependent on our unity. But I must express the reasons for our disagreement.

All of us who believe in global justice and peace have invested heavily in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. Till then, we had only ad hoc special courts: for Yugoslavia, for Rwanda, for Cambodia. We understand that any ad hoc court brings a suspicion of objectivity over it. That's why most of our national constitutions do not allow for ad hoc courts.

Now we have the ICC, and the fourth core crime under its jurisdiction is exactly the crime of aggression. As it has been discussed and agreed upon, in 2010 in Kampala. It has been already activated in 2018.

It is true that there are procedural problems in investigating a procedure. Not only a referral. The court has also jurisdiction for a crime of aggression of one signatory state against another. But neither Ukraine nor Russia are signatories.

However, I believe that the establishment of this ad hoc court weakens the authority and the jurisdiction of the ICC. It sends a message that we are very ready to deviate from general rules, and establish very specific rules, just to satisfy political, even if very much legitimate, goals.

More importantly, to the non-Western countries, that have no problem to recognise the Russian aggression but they have doubts if we apply equal standards, is going to send, I believe, the wrong message.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr George KATROUGALOS.

Next in the debate I call Ms Thórhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, from Iceland. She speaks on behalf of the group of the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group.


Ms Thórhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR

Iceland, SOC, Spokesperson for the group


Thank you, Mr Chair.

I'd like to commend the Rapporteur on his excellent and comprehensive report that was worked on and finished with very short notice.

I would also like to say that this is a combined effort of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. We worked very hard on this report and I think – excuse me – I think we could get a much better report after our collaboration.

I would like to point out that it is a comprehensive report but it needs further work by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights where we lay out the legal questions in the report. I know that we are already underway with such a report, so I would just like to say that the work goes on from here on the specific legal issues raised by the report.

Now there are several very important things that I would like us to support in this report.

First of all, it is quite important that all of our member states use their universal jurisdiction whenever they can to prosecute any acts of war crimes or crimes against humanity that they have the jurisdiction and capability to do. This is one way that we can fight impunity for these horrendous crimes that are happening in Ukraine.

Another way is of course to support our International Criminal Court. This is something that I urge all member states to do. It's something that is very clearly stated in this report.

And then thirdly we have the idea of establishing an international ad hoc criminal tribunal focused on the crime of aggression.

I understand the arguments made by Mr George KATROUGALOS; at the same time I would urge you to support this idea because we do need to show that there should be no impunity for the head of state of Russia. This is the one close way that I see we can try to ensure that there is an arrest warrant given out for Mr Vladimir Putin for his responsibility for war crimes. I don't see how else we could accomplish that fact.

But finally, I would also like to point out the very important aspect of the resolution which states, and I quote, that the "United Nations General Assembly should request an advisory opinion from the international court of justice on the possible limits to the veto rights of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council". I think if this were to be approved and if we would have a favourable position, perhaps we wouldn't need this ad hoc tribunal. Perhaps we could go the normal way.

So in this report we offer several very strong suggestions on how we can fight against impunity, how we can bring those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity, and even possible genocide, to justice. This, I think, is our first response to these very important legal questions.

We will continue to work on it in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

The Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group will as ever support that work to the fullest.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Ms Thórhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR.

Next in a debate I call Mr Uldis BUDRIĶIS from Latvia and he speaks on behalf of the Group of the European People's Party.


Latvia, EPP/CD, Spokesperson for the group


Dear President,

Mr Aleksander POCIEJ,

Thank you.

Three brief points.

First of all, thank you, Aleksander, for your work, tough, with purpose, and it was already said in your speech and especially in your explanatory memorandum.

Secondly, dear colleagues, I would want to show you something. This seems like an ordinary Ukrainian flag..

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Sorry, sir, we have here the rule that we do not show symbols, however sympathetic.


Latvia, EPP/CD, Spokesperson for the group


Excuse me.

I brought it from Kyiv - I was there on 24 March, a month after the invasion. It seems without a scratch, it's intact, but thousands, millions of people are not.

We see people killed, civilians killed, children shot, fleeing from hotspots, and there's Bucha, Irpin, Izyum, Mariupol – the list goes on and on. We also see mass graves and in the 21st century we see deportations.

This is not the first time Moscow has committed such things as a possible genocide. It hasn't been held accountable before. There hasn't been a tribunal, a Nuremberg for their crimes in the Holodomor, for example.

So this time Putin and his comrades have to be held accountable. That's why we need this ad hoc tribunal.

And if the United Nations have gone impotent then we – as politicians sitting in this room – we have an obligation to send a clear signal for the world that these crimes will not be forgotten. We have homework to do, every single one of us.

There are two things which are making this regime stronger.

The first one is the sense of non-liability, so we need to send more prosecutors to Ukraine. I know that as to my knowledge France is already doing so. We need to help with the laboratories - I know to my knowledge Latvia is doing so and other countries. We need to allocate more funding to the International Criminal Court (ICC). A lot of member countries are doing that and I urge you to do that as well in your home country.

The second one is fear – they thrive on it. That's why I'm saying, maybe that's a little cliche already, but we need to toughen the sanctions and double down on help on arming Ukraine.

Thank you very much.

Slava Ukraini.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Mr Uldis BUDRIĶIS.

Now the last speaker on behalf of the political groups is Mr Erkin GADIRLI from Azerbaijan. He speaks on behalf of the European Conservatives Group.

Erkin, you have the floor.


Azerbaijan, EC/DA, Spokesperson for the group


Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Let me start with congratulating the rapporteur for the draft report he has prepared. This draft is excellent. I call it excellent not only because of its content, not only because of the severe time limit within which it was prepared, but also because it elegantly challenges some of the well-established norms of public international law.

And let us not be naive: some of the suggestions in this draft are quite radical. And that is why I understand why some of our colleagues may have or even raised some concerns about it. Just to mention a few, those norms are about jurisdictional issues, issues of international immunity. But in order not to be puzzled and perhaps even troubled by this radicalism, we need to take into account the context. Because there is no text without the context. And the context is that there are atrocities committed on the territory of Ukraine by a permanent member of the Security Council.

Now, there are several jurisdictional options with regard to international crimes. There are national jurisdictions, ordinary national jurisdictions, there are national jurisdictions which recognise and apply universal jurisdiction, and there is international jurisdiction.

Now, national jurisdictions, all of them, apply two principles: territoriality and nationality principles. According to the territoriality principle, states have jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territories, according to the nationality principle, states have jurisdiction over crimes committed by or against their citizens.

So, Ukraine, in this regard, does have jurisdiction over crimes committed on its own territory and against its citizens, but is Ukraine capable of investigating those crimes? Perhaps not. Because it doesn't control part of its territory, and some of the perpetrators are not present on this territory.

Unfortunately Ukraine is not a member state of the Rome Statute, but Ukraine made a declaration that it recognises jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over crimes against humanity and war crimes. And ICC already started doing something through that. But that is not enough. That is why this report suggests creating an ad hoc tribunal.

Yes, from the strictly legal point of view this is a very radical suggestion, because it raises concerns about the legitimacy. But again, let us take into account the context. This is a very extraordinary situation. And of course Russia having a veto power in the Security Council, this veto power needs to be bypassed, and that is why this draft report suggests requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice.

Once again, I support this report and I call everyone in this audience to do the same.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Mr Erkin GADIRLI.

As we now will have the rest of the list of speakers, and there are 39, I would like to accommodate as many as possible.

Therefore, we have to be very strict on speaking times. Shorter is allowed, longer not.

First in the debate, now I call Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, from Finland.

Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, you have three minutes.


Finland, SOC


Mr President, first of all I would like to say thanks very much to Mr Aleksander POCIEJ: this is an excellent report.

Furthermore, I say to you, Aleksander, it's also an important report, it's a very important report indeed. What we witness in Ukraine today is some serious violations of international law and against human rights.

We all have been shocked. Absolutely. We all have been shocked. The Russian continued aggression and brutality, and in particular attacks on civilians, including women and children.

I personally was very much surprised, maybe even shocked, when foreign minister Lavrov stated after this Bucha tragedy that it's fake. This is a lie. If you have a responsible world leader, political leader, the minimum he should say is: let's have a proper international investigation. That's a minimum. Not to start to use accusations.

As your report, Aleksander, stresses, our response to violations and brutality must be in accordance with international law and principles of the rule of law. Sometimes here also we politicians use rhetoric and we may be to easily use terms like "war crimes", "crimes against humanity" or "genocide". These are very, very specific accusations and crimes defined carefully in international humanitarian law, and I think so we should respect that one also very. very much.

We need to be precise and correct in the juridical procedures that need to be taken. All of the war crimes committed in the Ukrainian war now by military and political authorities must be investigated, and the responsible persons should be charged, prosecuted and held responsible.

I fully agree, Aleksander, with your report conclusions saying there must be no impunity for the violations of international law and human rights.

There must be full accountability.

Thank you, Mr President.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN.

Next in the debate, I call Mr Joseph O'REILLY from Ireland.

You have the floor.

Mr Joseph O'REILLY

Ireland, EPP/CD



At the outset, could I congratulate my colleague, Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, on his report, on the speed of the report, the contents and the work done on it, and his fine articulation of its main principles this morning. Can I do that at the outset? Can I say that yesterday we had a very fine debate, as I cited by yourself, President, in which we identified issues around sanctions, issues around support, issues around dealing with displaced persons.

Today the focus shifts to war crimes, to creating a scenario where in the future, the way we deal with war crimes today, will be a disincentive for future war crimes. That's the essential logic of it, while it is incorrect, obviously, to prosecute them in themselves, but they have to provide a disincentive to other states in the future. It is clear that the evidence is there from Bucha, from Mariupol now, the satellite images are there and that is cited in the report. There is a clear violation of international law, clear evidence – we would say prima facie evidence – of war crimes and breaches of international law.

The first question, obviously, is that we should have a prosecution through the International Criminal Court. That is a given, a principle, in the report and there is no question about that and that we should all support the International Court in every practical way financially, evidentially, etc.

Now the main question and the main issue of disputation here this morning, is around the international tribunal. What I would say about that is it would be good to arrive at a consensus within this body on that. I would say that the Council of Europe certainly has to be central, the United Nations must be central to such a process, the International Court of Justice. It would need that and that is why the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights' report will be relevant as well. While the principle of accountability, the principle of international supervision, the principle of international prosecution is a fine one, we have to be careful to proceed in a very structured way, and in a very nuanced way, and in a way that brings to bear all the international factors, including the EU and our own body in a very particular way – we have to go relevance here.

I suppose, in conclusion, my essential points are that we are all in support of the International Criminal Court. We support the principle of dealing with aggression in a judicial way but it is to achieve a modus operandi there that will involve all international partners and will show the due process. I look forward to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights' report on that. 

Thank you. 

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you so much.

Now I call in the debate Mr Oleksii GONCHARENKO, from Ukraine.

Mr Oleksii GONCHARENKO, you have the floor.


Ukraine, EC/DA


Thank you Mr President.

First of all I would like to thank the rapporteur for great work done.

It's not just the words, because there are many things here, in this report.

First of all, awful crimes, war crimes, atrocities, were committed by Russia. Not just by Putin. It was not Putin himself who killed men and women and children. It was not Putin himself who raped women. These were concrete people – Russian military, paramilitary – who did this, and they should be responsible and accountable for this. That is the only way we can prevent such things in the future. We understand this, and this is in the report. That's very important.

Secondly, international tribunal. International tribunal, we need it. We need all of them to stand before this tribunal. But certainly, first of all, Putin himself. Because he is responsible for what has happened, and he should be there. That is also said in this report, and that is very important.

Thirdly, that the headquarters of this tribunal should be in Strasbourg. I agree with this. But I want to ask you that the name of this tribunal should be Mariupol Tribunal. Like it was Nuremberg Tribunal, this one should be Mariupol Tribunal. Because this city is now the symbol. The symbol of this awful war. The symbol of inhumanity. When we are speaking here now, people there, in Mariupol, are dying today, in Azovstal.

I want to address, from this very high tribune, all governments, all parliaments, all of you: do whatever you can, please! Help us save these souls.

Thousands of people are still waiting there, and they're dying before our eyes. It's so awful. I can't explain to you. But I believe that you know and you understand it. If you don't believe my words, believe your eyes. Come to Ukraine. I invite all of you. We will show you everything. You will see people who suffered. You will speak with them. Come to us.

But now I want to ask you to support Mariupol. To help us save these people. I want to ask you to stand up now, and to make common our demand, to everybody, to help Mariupol.

Please, stand up. I just want to ask you, for these thousands of people who are suffering. I ask you to stand up to support these people. They're watching us. The whole world is watching. Mariupol is now the capital of the free world. We need to show that the free world can be great again, can be strong enough to prevent things like this.

Please support these people! We need it now! Please act now! Please act and support them today, and we will do our job and our responsibilities!

Thank you very much!

Slava Ukraini!

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Mr Oleksii GONCHARENKO.

The next speaker is Mr Olivier BECHT from France.

You have the floor.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


He's not there, so we continue with the next speaker: Mr Kamil AYDIN from Turkey.

Mr Kamil AYDIN

Turkey, NR


Thank you Chair.

Dear President,

Dear distinguished colleagues,

I would like to congratulate the rapporteur, Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, for his remarkable work on such a short notice.

I am devastated, like you, by the terrifying atrocities that took place across Ukraine as a consequence of the Russian aggression. In the two-month span, according to reports, thousands of civilians were killed and civilian infrastructures of Mariupol and other cities were completely destroyed.

Unfortunately, Russian aggression persists in several cities and continues to cause civilian casualties. It seems that a ceasefire is no longer likely in the near future. Nevertheless, we should continue to work using all dialogue channels for a possible ceasefire that would pave the way for dialogue and diplomacy,  of course.

Dear colleagues, targeting innocent civilians can never be accepted. Identifying those who are responsible and bringing them to account by holding an independent investigation into the issue is our main expectation.

As emphasised in the report, if possible, existing legal instruments need to be considered to prosecute all crimes against the civilian population and those who perpetrate them in brutality. The Council of Europe, with its expertise on monitoring human rights violations, could support the investigations and prosecutions with its competent organs.

At this stage, we stand with the people of Ukraine who suffer from the devastating impact of the war.

While we do our best to hold those responsible for crimes against the civilians, we must keep in mind that we have to address the short-term humanitarian challenges as well. In this respect, humanitarian corridors are required to relocate those who are trapped in the cities under Russian bombing.

Finally, I condemn Russian attacks on civilians. From the humanitarian perspective, all member states must cooperate to address the needs of victims of the aggression and must work together to bring those responsible to account.

Thank you, Chair.




United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much indeed.

And now we have, I hope, online Sir Tony LLOYD.

Do we have him online?

Yes. OK.

Sir Tony LLOYD

United Kingdom, SOC


Yes, thank you, Chair.

Let me congratulate once again the rapporteur for what is an excellent report and for the work of course of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in bringing that report before us today.

It is important to say there must be rules of war. Sometimes it seems an odd thing. If ever we recognise why there must be rules of war, it is this conflict being waged by Russia in Ukraine. The victims are individuals, those who have been tortured, those who've been raped, those who have been murdered, each one an individual, who's suffering.

These crimes are collective. Yes, committed by individuals, but these crimes are collective. Like others, I endorse the rapporteur's demand that there can be no impunity for those responsible. Yes, of course, the active individual soldiers, the actual individual Russians in these atrocities must be brought to justice. In the end, because these crimes are so widespread, the pulverisation of Mariupol', the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war, the widespread use of torture, the widespread use of murder. Yes, of course, these operate at the level of allegations before the criminal justice system, but so well-understood that these did take place, the world must demand no impunity.

Now, within that context, of course, that does mean that there needs to be a very real message from this Assembly today, that those who are responsible are not just the individual soldiers, not just individual operatives who are carrying out these acts, but those who command them. That means the military commands, the Russian Armed Forces, but also those politicians, those civilian politicians, who sent the Russian military to war. Of course, that's the most senior people in the Russian government: President Putin and those around him. They must know that there can be no acceptance of their role in these crimes and, therefore, there can be no impunity.

I understand the arguments around the need for a universal legal jurisdiction, but we don't have that. The ICC is not a universal jurisdiction at the moment. Within that context, I think we must examine the capacity for it, for a special tribunal. These have taken place in the past, Nuremberg, nobody doubts it. Some may doubt the role of The Hague, some may doubt other ad hoc tribunals that have taken place over the years, but in the end most of us do not. Most of us recognise that those who are brought to justice need to fear that there will be no impunity.

Finally, dear Chair, can I just say this: we do need also to work with the authorities to make sure that the evidence is collected. Without evidence, we let down those victims.

This is an important debate. Let me once again congratulate our rapporteur.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much indeed and now we have another speaker from Ukraine, Mr Serhii SOBOLIEV.


Ukraine, EPP/CD


Thank you.

War is war – but even the war has its own laws. And the violation of these laws is the most horrible thing in the world because when it is a violation of other laws, it can be done by some street gangs but now we see that the main gangster, the main terrorists, is a state: the Russian State. It is organised by the Russian President, the Russian Government, the Russian Parliament, by all Russian authorities and it is the responsibility of the whole state.

When we hear horrible things about 400 women that now announced the sexual violence against them and it is only from the liberated territories, what will be when in the east or in the south, we will hear a million such horrible stories of such.

But I want to speak now about nuclear terrorism. Maybe you remember what was a month ago at Chernobyl nuclear power station, which was controlled by Russian occupants? And now we see a high level, a huge level of radiation in this area. We are watching how missiles fly over other nuclear power stations in Mykolaiv. But just now, in these past few minutes, in my native city, Zaporizhzhia, nearby the biggest nuclear power station in Europe, Enerhodar, has switched off the electricity.

And all the responsibilities for this? It is not a nuclear war, it is not a nuclear weapon that Putin directly used against Ukraine and against the whole world, but it is really a nuclear weapon and we must understand that even one small thing can be a serious tragedy for the whole world if we will not stop this. And this report is not for the future, it is a report for now, in order for all criminals in the governments, presidents and parliaments must understand that they will be held responsible for all these things.

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Now we have Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN.


Norway, SOC


Mr President,

Dear colleagues,

Firstly, thank you to the rapporteur for this very important report. Secondly, after finishing this urgent debate, I hope this Assembly will be able to send a strong and unanimous message to the Russian authorities: undoubtedly, the day will come when they will be held accountable for their serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Ukraine.

Two days ago, the Norwegian Prime Minister held a new statement in Parliament about the consequences of Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine, in which some of his main points were:

Russia has so far not reached their goals, neither in capturing Kyiv, nor in deposing Ukraine's legally elected government. Instead, Russia has suffered heavy losses of both soldiers and war material. Now, there are strong indications that Russia intends to take control over the Donbas region through a bloody struggle for territory, with extensive use of heavier weapons and heavy artillery, unprecedented in Europe since 1945. The victims are millions of Ukrainian women, men and children, killed, terrorised, driven into exile. Already, we are horrified by reports of atrocities against defenceless people, rape and torture, siege of civilians stuck inside towns and villages without humanitarian corridors. Every day, new cases of alleged war crimes are reported.

Last week, Dagbladet, a Norwegian newspaper, introduced us to 43-year-old Iryna Venediktova, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, originally hired to fight corruption. Now, side by side with foreign forensics, she is documenting bodies being retrieved from mass graves. Her work is of utmost importance.

Investigation and documentation of these war crimes is a prerequisite for prosecuting those responsible. It is not enough just pointing to Russia. States cannot be held accountable, only individuals – a soldier, a general, a president. An ad hoc tribunal could hold President Putin and his inner circle accountable. A major challenge, though, is how to finance it. The ICC can handle general lawsuits, but with limited capacity, probably they will concentrate on the most serious cases. Probably, the largest number of cases can be handled by universal jurisdiction and be prosecuted in other countries.

To conclude, let us for the time being keep all possibilities and different locations open. The most important now is to gather evidence and get the necessary financial guarantees, to ensure that we have the means to hold Russia accountable.

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Is Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS with us? I cannot see him in his seat. No? Okay.

Then we go back to Ukraine and to Ms Olena KHOMENKO.


Ukraine, EC/DA


"She had gone to bed hoping that that was the worst of it. She was wrong. 'You will come with us to find other women', they ordered her before shoving a gun into Alex's back and telling him he would take him to the Russian headquarters in the small village near Borodyanka."

The piece that I have just read to you appeared on the front page in the Daily Telegraph recently. This is the evidence of a Ukrainian girl who was raped and tortured by Russian soldiers and then was forced by three of them with the gun at her head to restrain other girls for a collective raping. The journalists have spent the weekend in Kyiv area trying to get hold of at least one girl who agreed to give this evidence as all the horrors are still alive in their memories and psychiatrists are still working with them.

Or another story, which I cannot recall without tears. This is about a 9 year-old-girl who writes to her mother in heaven thanking the mother for the best happy nine years in her life. Her mother was shot dead in the care of Russian soldiers, when all the family was trying to escape from invaded town. The girl saw everything by her eyes.

This is just a small piece of thousands of horrors which are still happening in Ukraine and the thriller is just unfolding.

When Biden called Putin "a killer" many in the world doubted the correctness of his words. Now the Russian leader has turned into a monstrous war criminal who should be punished with all the severe justice.

Dear colleagues, we call on you to support Ukraine in investigation of war crimes that started by our prosecutor general's office, police, and security service of Ukraine.

Please help and support us in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Now we move to Mr Claude KERN.

The floor is yours.

Mr Claude KERN

France, ALDE


Thank you, Mr President.

I would like to thank our colleague Mr Aleksander POCIEJ for his excellent report, which allows us to deepen the debate on how our organisation can contribute to holding accountable the perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine.

Article 8 bis of the Statute of the International Criminal Court defines aggression as the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state. For our Assembly, the acts committed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine do constitute aggression and are accompanied by serious human rights violations, confirmed by the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Indeed, the civilian population is being deliberately targeted; residential buildings and hospitals are deliberately hit. The aim of these maneouvres is to force the Ukrainian troops to surrender by bombing and terrorising the civilian population. The terrible acts committed against these populations could constitute war crimes which, under no circumstances, must go unpunished.

For an organisation such as ours, which is based on the rule of law, it is important that justice be able to punish the perpetrators of the violence committed against the civilian population. Unfortunately, Ukraine and Russia are not parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Court cannot therefore judge the aggression committed by Russia. However, following a declaration by Ukraine on the basis of Article 12 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Court has jurisdiction over acts committed on the territory of Ukraine in the course of the current war, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. That is why the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation, which I welcome.

In addition, the United Nations Human Rights Council has also adopted a resolution allowing for the creation of an independent international commission of inquiry, charged with shedding light on all the human rights violations that were allegedly committed in the context of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

In this context, I believe it is essential that the Council of Europe contribute to the establishment of the truth and the identification of violations of international humanitarian law so that the Russian leaders and military personnel concerned can be held accountable in due course.

I therefore call on the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General to fully mobilise the competent services of the Council of Europe to assist the Ukrainian authorities. I also support the wish expressed yesterday in our Assembly to see the Commissioner for Human Rights visit Ukraine as soon as possible.

Dear colleagues, it is our duty to make the Russian authorities understand that there will be no impunity.

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you, sir.

Now we move to Mr Mehmet Mehdi EKER, from Turkey.

Mr Mehmet Mehdi EKER

Turkey, NR


Dear President,

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to begin by thanking the rapporteur for his great work.

Russian aggression towards Ukraine has been persisting for two months. It has become an unprecedented hostility and a challenge for the security architecture of Europe since the Second World War.

I fully support all efforts and initiatives that would force those responsible for the hostility against the civilian population of Ukraine to account. All perpetrators behind the tragic loss of civilian population and destruction of civilian infrastructure in many cities of Ukraine deserve a thorough and effective investigation and prosecution.

While this report particularly refers to some possible alternatives to prosecute those responsible, I believe that the Council of Europe and its bodies may also be helpful in this process, especially by collecting evidence and building cases against those responsible for the brutal attacks on civilians.

The international community must take decisive action to ensure that these perpetrators do not enjoy impunity for perpetrating terrible violent acts against the civilian population.

For this reason, as rightly emphasised in the report, all member States must support the task of investigation and prosecution for perpetrators by stating political support and allocating necessary financial and human resources.

On a separate note, while seeking the bringing of those responsible to justice, we must also respond to the humanitarian crisis that requires immediate and concerted action.

Many member States, including my country, have dutifully responded to the unfolding humanitarian needs of those fleeing Ukraine and provided adequate aid for them.

However, while a short term response to the crisis is sufficient, this humanitarian crisis stemming from the large numbers of refuge flows requires a comprehensive and long term solution.

Finally, I hope that this Assembly and the Council of Europe would help put an end to this war and bring those responsible to justice.

Thank you.




United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Mehmet Mehdi EKER.

I now move to Lord George FOULKES.

Lord George FOULKES

United Kingdom, SOC


Mister President,

Let's never forget, as Mr Claude KERN said, that we're talking about Russia invading a sovereign country in a fierce, cruel, and heartless way.

Now some people yesterday, in yesterday's debate, were talking about finding a balance between the two sides. That's senseless! Ridiculous! Ukraine poses no threat at all to Russia.

The Russian troops have undoubtedly committed major atrocities.

You know, when I see the corpses of little children lying in the streets, it brings tears to my eyes. I don't just think, however, of the suffering of the parents and the grandparents of those little children, but I think of the loss of potential. They could have gone on to be great doctors, saving our lives, scientists with new discoveries, musicians or artists producing some new masterpieces, or even politicians representing their own country and coming here to Strasbourg. That is the potential that we are losing.

Mister President, there's no doubt in my mind that Putin, his generals, and his forces, have carried out mass murder amounting to war crimes, perhaps even genocide. I accept what others have said and what the rapporteur rightly has said. For them to be brought to justice needs to be proven beyond any doubt in legal terms. That is why it is right to find the forum. I hope there will be no dispute, ultimately, about the best, the better forum, or the best forum. Whether it's the International Criminal Court or an ad hoc tribunal.

I hope we can resolve that, but they should be brought to trial.

I'm pleased, Mister President, that the British Government has pledged funds to support it, bringing them to justice, and the support of the Metropolitan Police, to help them find the evidence and to prove these war crimes so that they receive the punishment they deserve. The soldiers, all the forces of course, and the generals. But above all, the one person who made the decision which is resulting in all this grief, this murder, this terrible situation that we find ourselves. That is Vladimir Putin. He must be brought before that tribunal.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Lord George FOULKES.

Now we move back to Ukraine and to Ms Mariia MEZENTSEVA.


Ukraine, EPP/CD


Thank you, dear President.

I would like to start with the citation which says "men make were to get attention". We have, indeed, one sick man who decided that he can be the centre of this world. Well, he is not. Putin did one great thing. On 24 February 2022 he united Ukraine as never before. This glue is so strong that as our own national anthem says "we will fight until the last drop of our blood". This is more or less the same line in the Polish anthem. We are so thankful on behalf of the delegation for the work that has been done by the rapporteur Mr Aleksander POCIEJ.

We cannot underestimate the fact that every Ukrainian family was affected by this but also you, dear friends, because the circle and the scheme of this war go in this manner. Some member States of this honourable organisation are still paying for Russian gas and oil. The funds are going there. They are still buying and producing weapons. It comes to Ukraine in bloody bullets and tanks, killing Ukrainian civilians, women and children and men, the disabled, the blind, those who cannot hear and those who cannot respond. Then our people are fleeing to your member States, and you receive them tremendously well. We are so thankful for that, but you have to spend your taxpayers' money on supporting Ukrainians. Then this circle comes into spendings again.


We have set very clear goals in this institution, dealing with climate change and the whole Conference of Europe was dedicated to that. We recently had a Future of Europe Day held also in Strasbourg when there was a very great idea, which was never implemented from 1952: a joint European Army. The Ukrainian Polk Azov Battalion is now fighting until the really last drop of blood, supporting 100 000 Ukrainians in the basements of Mariupol. Those are the Ukrainian beautiful army, which is fighting across the country, 30 000 of which are women. They all need your support.

When you are asking us what else you can do, please vote for this resolution. Please vote for the amendment which can take the Russian assets of those who are using and misusing taxpayers' money in Russia to fund this war and to make them responsible for these crimes.

We still hope that justice will prevail. We still hope that we will receive you in a peaceful Kharkiv, a peaceful Mariupol, a peaceful Odesa and a peaceful Lviv. Meanwhile, you are very welcome, as many of you have already travelled, across Ukraine.

Thank you, dear President. This is a historic resolution to be voted on.

Thank you. Slava Ukraini.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you.

Now, Mr Paul GAVAN.


Ireland, UEL


The first thing I want to say is just how important this report is and this resolution will be, and I will be supporting it. I'll be supporting it because we absolutely have to insist on full and proper accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes. And it's clear, I think to all of us, listening to our brothers and sisters from Ukraine this morning, the true scale of the horrors that are still taking place on account of the Russian invasion. So let's be let's be very clear on that.

I do very much welcome the the paragraph that specifies support for the ICC, for the International Criminal Court. It's so important. And of course that issue then leads to making sure it's properly resourced, making sure it's properly financed. And, as a member of the opposition in Ireland, I want to acknowledge that the Irish government has actually pledged an additional 3 million. And I think there's an example that all countries should take.

I do have a concern in relation to the special ad hoc tribunal proposed. I absolutely accept the genuineness of the proposal in terms of trying to ensure that we hold Putin and indeed the Russian soldiers accountable. But I have a concern in terms of, I think we should really focus on making sure that all of us get behind the ICC. I'm conscious that there are countries that are not currently signed up to the ICC, and I would rather our focus was making sure that that happens. Because it's so important that any investigations are properly resourced, but also seen to be transparent, independent, and credible.

And I use the word credible because (and I take no pleasure in saying this), but the major proponent in the media in relation to this ad hoc tribunal across the West is former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Now, that's more than unfortunate given that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was directly involved in the illegal war in Iraq that led to one million deaths. There's something that just doesn't tally there, and we should never be afraid to highlight that.

So, those are my concerns and I do hope that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights can help tease that out, because I do think that Lord George FOULKES is right in terms of making sure that we get it right in terms of which platform we use. I think the position that we should support is one clearly behind the International Criminal Court. But as I say, I'll certainly be supporting this resolution.

Before I finish, whenever I hear conversations or debates around war crimes, around accountability, I will never apologise for raising the name of Julian Assange, who has done more to highlight war crimes in the last 20 years and who is rotting in Belmarsh Prison today. And if the British and American authorities get their way, he'll spend the rest of his life in prison. So, I send full solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, I support the call for investigations by International Criminal Court, and I also once again call for the release of Julian Assange.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

I'm going to take the next two speakers who are both online, and then I'll come back to Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, providing he promises to make his contribution very short.

Now we go to Mr Stéphane BERGERON, from Canada.

Mr Stéphane BERGERON



Dear colleagues,

Thank you Mr Rapporteur,

On 3 March of this year, at the very beginning of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the President of this Assembly, Mr Tiny KOX, demanded that the Russian Federation comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols. In his statement, he highlighted the fact that these Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and I quote, "provide for the protection of the civilian population and those no longer participating in combat, such as prisoners, the wounded and sick." "This is a legal obligation," he added, "with no exceptions."

Unfortunately, there is now ample evidence that this legal obligation has not only been ignored by Russia but also deliberately violated. To see this, let us briefly examine the findings of the recent report published by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. According to the report, if Russian forces had respected their obligations of distinction, proportionality and precaution under international humanitarian law, far fewer civilians would have been injured and killed. Similarly, the report continues, far fewer homes, hospitals, cultural property, schools, multi-story residential buildings, water stations and electrical systems would have been damaged or destroyed.

In short, Russian forces have made life for civilians in parts of Ukraine utterly hellish, so that more than 5 million Ukrainians have had to flee abroad and many more have taken refuge elsewhere in the country, leaving everything behind, not knowing what the future holds.

We must certainly continue to use all the tools at our disposal to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable for their despicable actions. At the same time, we must move heaven and earth to help the displaced populations, but also those who are still in the combat zones and whose living conditions have been made literally miserable. I know that no support will ever replace what has been lost. This should not lead us to give up, but rather to step up our efforts to help.

As a proud Quebecer, I would like to highlight the fact that the Quebec government has set up a reception structure to facilitate the settlement of Ukrainian refugees, regardless of the length of their stay here. It is now important to facilitate their arrival in Quebec and in Canada. We have proposed to the Government of Canada the implementation of humanitarian shuttles that could transport the large quantities of basic necessities collected thanks to the generosity of Canadians and Quebecers on the outbound journey and, on the return journey, bring back to Canada the many Ukrainian refugees who wish to get as far away as possible from the combat zones.

Our arms are wide open. All that remains is to ensure that the Ukrainians who are waiting to be welcomed can finally be welcomed.

Thank you for your attention.

Slava Ukraini.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you, sir.

Now I go online as well, to Mr Markus WIECHEL.


Sweden, EC/DA


Thank you, Mr President.

This is Assembly is right in holding a debate at this present session already, as consequences are flowing from Russia's heinous and unlawful attack on Ukraine.

This being said, we know full well that the conflict is still far from over. We may, in fact, at this stage, be far from the beginning of the end. We may instead, more realistically, be at the end of the beginning, to quote Mr Winston Churchill.

The first consequence I wish to mention is the enormous suffering and tragic loss of life in Ukraine as people die in their thousands in the ruins of cities that have been reduced to rubble, where they are dying fighting for Ukraine's independence and freedom. Or they were among the thousands of young, unaware Russian and often brainwashed conscripts, now dead, who reportedly had never been told where they were going and for what purpose.

And so we ask ourselves in despair, how on earth can there exist a regime like the one in Russia in our modern times? A Russian leadership which commits such atrocities in cold blood, and which seems determined to just go on and on laying further waste to the whole country and its population, 5 million of whom are now refugees in foreign lands.

Likewise, how can there be a regime in our day and age, that in one fell swoop manages to utterly destroy the whole European peace order, built up for decades of strenuous international development.

Now, years of repair work lay ahead as we all show together, someday and somehow, set about to recreate a new European peace order, and to overcome the suspicion, the tension, and the bloc confrontation, that the Russian attack on Ukraine has brought about.

Dear colleagues, there are many other grave consequences arising from this war that I will only refer to in passing for one time.

They include a looming world famine, especially in Africa, as the production and export of cereals by two of the world's biggest suppliers, Ukraine and Russia, are coming to a near halt due to the war. They include a threatening worldwide economic recession as shortages of oil, gas, and electricity, also indirectly caused by the war, causes runaway inflation.

In conclusion, Mr President, we will never forget what the Russian perpetrators have done, and we will never forgive these despicable crimes.

I support the report prepared by our rapporteur, and I thank you all for your attention.

Slava Ukraini.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Now I will take Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS.

Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS

Lithuania, EPP/CD


Thank you for the generosity, Mister President.

It is not always is possible to manage the time. I would like to say to everyone that this report is completing the first steps done by Mr Frank SCHWABE. Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, it is one of the best of your reports during years and years and years. Well, it is very sharp, and it is very clear.

My country Lithuania just joined, and officially, from the government side, in the creation of a joint investigation team and already supported by Ukraine and Poland with the support from Eurojust with the purpose of co-ordinating their investigation and pulling the results through directive co-operation between competent authorities of the participant states. I am so glad that we started it. I am so glad that the sharp evaluation of the international criminal tribunal proposed by Mr Aleksander POCIEJ is an absolutely crystal clear way to investigate the horrible crimes against humanity and genocidal attempts by the Russian army against civilians.

And now, I would like to turn your attention to the fact that humanitarian corridors are not opened, not only for civilians but looking to international law, to wounded soldiers. Wounded soldiers and civilians should be evacuated from the regions under Russian occupation. Every country that belongs to the Red Cross can encourage the Red Cross to do that immediately, including wounded soldiers. I¡m talking about Mariupol and other places.

Coming back, we have Russian democrats, Mister Chairman and colleagues, imprisoned for the reason that they are in favour of a free and integral Ukraine. Vladimir Kara-Murza was just arrested for the reason that he stated in the United States that it was in the prosecutor's statement in Moscow against him that he raised the question of and doubted the Russian army invading Ukraine and he was against the war, against the Russian war on Ukraine.

In this case, at 1:00 p.m. Mr Kara-Murza was always part of our body, he spoke to all our Committee, especially the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. We would like to invite you at 1:00 p.m. in the front after the end of our meeting, generously, to go and to make, in the front of our hemicycle, our generous human gesture telling to the world to free Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Thank you so much. Slava Ukraini. The whole democratic world must not allow to narrow the free space in Europe.

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Now I go to Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ.


Croatia, SOC


Mr Chair,

Dear colleagues,

In my previous life before politics I was a historian. In history they say that history is deemed to repeat itself if we don't learn from it.

Unfortunately, we have learnt nothing as the recent events have shown. For, dear colleagues, does not Mariupol look like Vukovar? Don't Bucha and Irpin look like Sebrenica? Doesn't Kramatorsk look like Sarajevo and the shelling of the Sarajevo market?

If you remember those atrocities, unfortunately they do. And unfortunately, we haven't learnt from history.

This report should not concern only Ukraine now, but we should look at the broader picture. Unfortunately, the recent events have shown that in the 21st century, such atrocities, such aggression, such inhumane behaviour, is still possible on our continent.

Therefore, we should also look at the broader picture.

I hope, I sincerely hope that it will never happen again. But unfortunately, history says otherwise.

Investigation and prosecution, the approach to those, should take an international dimension, at least in my opinion, in order to produce thorough, efficient investigation, and indisputable evidence for future prosecution.

I am not a lawyer by profession, as I stated. I'm a historian. So I will let the lawyers and law experts work out the jurisdictions and which courts should be conducting this investigation. But I'm also a politician, and I think that we, from this place, should send a clear political statement.

The political statement should be that all the accountable shall be prosecuted. They will not escape justice. From the bottom to the top. From the soldier who was shooting and killing innocents to those who have ordered it, or, when they learned about those atrocities, have not prosecuted.

And the second message I wish goes out from this Hemicycle is that no perpetrator of heinous crimes is safe, neither in Ukraine nor anywhere else in Europe.

I will finish in Ukrainian. Myr Ukraini, Svoboda Ukraini, Slava Ukraini.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Now we go to Ms Annicka ENGBLOM.

Ms Annicka ENGBLOM

Sweden, EPP/CD


Thank you, Mr President.

To begin with, let me, from the very bottom of my heart, express mine and my country Sweden's unconditional and wholehearted support and admiration for the brave, brave people of Ukraine in your hard struggle and relentless fight against the brutal, brutal Russian military aggression towards your country.

During my five years of this Assembly, a newbie to some of you perhaps, I have experienced somewhat turbulent times, to put it mildly. First all the annexation of Crimea, the turbulence against the former President of this Assembly, and now a full-fledged horrendous war from our finally former member state of Russia on another.

And during this time I've tried to put the Assembly's attention to the unfortunate inability of democratic tools such as humanitarian laws, resolutions and even sanctions in trying to hindering regimes such as Putin's, because to them it was all talk. It meant nothing to them. With that said, of course, we must not lose the grip of them as being democratic countries, but harder measures have to be taken, and it is my opinion that the measures suggested in this report will.

I would say that in my previous life, Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, I was a military, and just a few points on the current situation.

Now, the Russian invasion of Ukraine hasn't worked out as swiftly and efficiently as Putin has hoped for. They have lost substantial amounts of military material, but there are very few examples in world history that defeat, which we are all hoping for and contributing to, will lead to Russian demilitarisation. But we have a window of opportunity of weakness, if we keep the fight.

Second of all, we must take into account that a considerable part, even the majority of the Russian people, the citizens, support Putin's government. They might be dis-informed, ill-advised, but that is a fact. And Russian people are known to be enduring hardship. So I fear, although we are hoping for a swift end to this war, that it will be lengthy, since the Russian people support this regime and its little father.

So let me end by thanking the rapporteur Mr Aleksander POCIEJ for his excellent and important report and forceful suggestions to ensure accountability for the perpetrators.

Thank you very much.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much indeed.

Now we go back to Ukraine, to Ms Larysa BILOZIR.


Ukraine, ALDE


Thank you, Mr Chair.

Dear President,



Today war is in our common house. The aggressor has come to our home during what we are building for decades, to kill and rape our children and women, to deprive us from what we value the most: dignity, freedom and the right to life.

Here in PACE, it was a constant line of policy of appeasement of the aggressor, that all of these years was invited to dialogue but was preparing for war.

Did PACE make its conclusions after the war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine?

Yes. It became the first international organisation to exclude Russia. Now we are the first organisation to initiate the establishment of an international tribunal to investigate Russian crimes against Ukraine. It did work out its mistake, but rather late, as bombs are falling again in Europe, 1 500 bombs already. Those that killed our people, destroyed our houses and economy.

Russia is destroying not only Ukraine's infrastructure. Russia is destroying the world order formed after World War II.

Now we have this very needed and important report on how to find justice after horrific atrocities are taking place. This report is about how to deal with consequences, about what you can do to avoid impunity for violations of international law.

After we met in the extraordinary session more than one month ago, the number of destroyed residential houses increased from 1 000 to 10 000. At least 400 cases of rape of Ukrainians by the occupiers are currently documented. Girls, boys and women are raped and killed in front of the eyes of relatives. Thousands of people buried in mass graves and yards of residential housing. Russia is ugly and aggressive. It's not a great nation anymore. It's a pack of murderers, rapists, destroyers, and looters.

I want to support the rapporteur's conclusions that the Council of Europe should oblige its member states to support Ukraine, providing human and financial resources in the ongoing investigation and proceedings. But punishment will be someday. I'm sure it will be. But today, in Ukraine, at least 215 children were killed, mostly with limb amputations. It's very important that each case of crime is investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. This is the only way to restore respect for international humanitarian law.

Russia has to clearly understand that the war they have started in Ukraine puts their country outside the borders of the civilised world, and there will be punishment for each of their horrific crimes.

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much indeed and now we go online to Ms Sena Nur ÇELİK.

Ms Sena Nur ÇELİK

Turkey, NR


Dear President,

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to thank the rapporteur for this comprehensive report. We are all horrified by the shocking reports of violations of human rights in Ukraine, such as summary executions, abductions, torture and sexual violence by Russian troops, which may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. All of these atrocities traumatise the entire generations of Ukrainians by adding new levels of horror to this war.

There must be no impunity for international crimes of this gravity and perpetrators must be held to account. The Council of Europe and the member States should support the ongoing investigations and proceedings before the ICC, ICJ, European Court of Human Rights and the Independent Commission of Enquiry set up by the United Nations.

The most important recommendation of the report is the establishment of a special tribunal for prosecuting crimes of aggression that fall outside the jurisdiction of the ongoing ICC investigation. The principal criticism of this proposal is that it would represent an egregious example of selective justice, that international justice would be undermined if an application in Ukraine reinforces the selectivity of the system, rather than fostering universal accountability, and that vital questions of legitimacy and fairness must be considered in relation to the creation of a special tribunal for one crime in a European country when robust global accountability measures for countless mass atrocities in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya and Myanmar have stalled or receded from the attention of the international community.

There is a lot of merit to these concerns, which must be addressed by the international institutions including the Council of Europe. Reform of the UN system and wider ratification of the ICC statute should be supported and the revision of the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression should be promoted to pre-bring them in line with the jurisdiction of the regime applicable to other ICC crimes so that in the future ICC's jurisdiction in a similar case would cover all four ICC crimes. It goes without saying that victims in places such as Syria and Yemen are no less deserving of justice than those in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, for at least the pursuit of justice within our reach and for ensuring the highest possible degree of accountability for Russia's aggression, I support the resolution and the recommendation hoping that this is going to be a turning point for the Council in taking equivalent level of action in relation to grave violations of international humanitarian law elsewhere in the world. It would be a good start for the Council and for the Assembly to break their silence and support the only other ongoing ICC investigation concerning a Council of Europe member State: the ICC investigation against Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Thank you.


United Kingdom, EC/DA, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

And now we go to Mr Lukas SAVICKAS.


Lithuania, SOC


Thank you.


Dear colleagues,

Family separated, people lost, children dead, parents missing, sons shot, daughters raped, E-40 highway shooting, abduction and torture of civilians in Kherson, torture chambers in Trostyanets', mass torture in Makariv, killings of civilians in Chernihiv, Bucha.

I'm sure you all have seen photos. You have read what Russian soldiers have done. But just try to imagine the pain that each and every one of these kids and parents and all citizens and people have suffered, and continue to suffer.

We have to do our best to ensure that such strategies would not be repeated elsewhere. To do so, we must ensure that Putin and all his cronies are held accountable.

I have just recently returned from my visit in Ukraine. Families, houses, entire cities are fully wiped out from the surface of the Earth by the Russian army. And the growing reports by international bodies and non-governmental observers show us that there is a growing body of evidence, figuratively and literally, showing that Russian armed forces have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law.

It is rightfully stated in this report that all relevant instruments are already in order to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction. In addition, criminal responsibility of individual perpetrators of international crimes, European Court of Human Rights, International Court of Justice must take action to hold the Russian Federation accountable for the human rights violations committed.

But it is not enough. Each of us has to do our part. At national level we might use our universal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute international crimes. At International level, you must join investigation teams already set up by Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania in support of our justice.

Even more importantly, we must set up an ad hoc international criminal tribunal with a strong mandate to investigate and prosecute solemnly the crimes of aggression allegedly committed by the political military leadership of Russian Federation. But the massive war crimes and human rights violations must be brought to justice and be accounted for. There is no peace without it and there is no peace without Putin and Lukashenko paying a visit to the court.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you Mr Lukas SAVICKAS.

The next speaker in our debate is Ms Marie-Christine DALLOZ, from France.

You have the floor.

Ms Marie-Christine DALLOZ

France, EPP/CD


Thank you, Mr President,

Mr Rapporteur,

Dear colleagues,

Since the totally unjustified armed aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine on 24 February, Europe has been confronted with a dramatic situation that brings back the darkest memories of our history.

Accusations of abuses by the Russian army are multiplying. Should we speak of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide? It is still too early to decide and the International Criminal Court will do so, but it is already established that heinous crimes have been and continue to be committed.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior, 720 civilians were killed in Bucha. The bombing of the Mariupol theatre, where several hundred civilians had taken refuge, resulted in the death of approximately 300 people according to local authorities. Many other abuses are unfortunately to be deplored. The targeting of civilian populations by the Russian army constitutes war crimes.

Three types of jurisdictions are able to investigate: the International Criminal Court, Ukrainian justice, of course, and that of other countries, thanks to the concept of "universal jurisdiction".

The ICC opened an investigation on 2 March, on crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Ukraine since November 2013. Without recognising the general jurisdiction of this court, Ukraine nevertheless recognises its investigative capacities, which will absolutely have to be exploited.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General says she has already registered more than 7 000 Russian war crimes.

Three European countries – Sweden, Germany and Spain – have also opened an investigation.

Finally, the United Nations has opened an investigation into "violations of human rights and international humanitarian law" committed in Ukraine.

France has offered to make two judges and ten police officers available to the ICC. The European Union has also offered its assistance. The European Agency for Judicial Cooperation, Eurojust, is in charge of coordinating the collection of all evidence.

I think that the member states of the Council of Europe should join their efforts in the investigation because we cannot let the abuses committed on Ukrainian soil go unpunished. This would be a tacit acceptance of the end of international law and the superiority of violence over democratic values. Our reaction must be as firm as the magnitude of the threat.

I will of course vote for the resolution and recommendation proposed by our excellent rapporteur, Mr Aleksander POCIEJ.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, dear Ms Marie-Christine DALLOZ.

Next in the debate will be Mr Dmytro NATALUKHA, from Ukraine.

You will be the last speaker in the debate. After you I have to interrupt the list of speakers, because we also have to have the replies.

You have the floor, sir.


Ukraine, EC/DA


Thank you very much, dear Mister Chairman.

I would like to thank the rapporteur for a crucial and a critical work that he has done.

Now, in ten days time from today, ladies and gentlemen, we will all be probably wearing a poppy pin saying never again, as a symbol to remember the innocent victims of one of the most horrible wars in human history, also as a symbol of inadmissibility of such wars in the future, of such bloodthirsty regimes and dictators that we have witnessed 8 years ago.

Never again we said. We will say it again, but unfortunately it happened.

Why has it happened again in Ukraine with Russia? Because Putin is a product of unpunished evil.

Putin had a perception that he was untouchable. This is precisely what this report is trying to tackle, to punish this evil, to finally put him and bring him to liability, and finally put him to respond for all those innocent lives that his regime has taken away.

Now, it is clearly stated in Paragraph 6 of this draft report that it cannot be presently covered by the ICC without a resolution by the United Nations Security Council, which the Russian Federation would probably block by using veto. Therefore, we need a tribunal.

I think this is common sense for everyone who understands what we're speaking about.

Nevertheless, we keep on hearing arguments, yesterday, today, in this hemicycle, that the decision to put Putin and his is regime to responsibility and to liability in front of a tribunal, would weaken the authority of the ICC.

Now, I would say, ladies and gentlemen, that such arguments, if they weaken the authority of something, is that authority of the man who says such arguments. Anyone who proposes such an argument forward is the one whose authority is weakened, because it is obvious that by this argument, such a person is trying to protract the necessary decision to put Putin and his crooked gang to a response and to the liability.

Let us not weaken the authority of this esteemed institution, ladies and gentlemen, by being soft and spineless when it comes to countering predators, terrorists, and killers, which are Putin and his crooked regime.

Let us do what is right, and say again, never again.

Let's put this forward, and let's adopt the tribunal.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much but may I remind you this is an agora where we exchange opinions, so every speaker is here allowed, within our rules, to express his or her opinions because that, in the end, should give us the common wisdom on how to decide. Thank you very much.

I now, as I said, I have to interrupt the list of speakers. The speeches of members on the speakers' list who have been present physically or remotely during the debate but have not been able to speak may be given to the Table Office for publication in the Official Report, provided that speakers connected remotely can report their actual presence when the debate is closed. I remind colleagues that type written texts must be submitted electronically, no later than four hours after the list of speakers is interrupted.

Did you want to make a point of order, Madam?


Czech Republic, EC/DA


Thank you very much.

I would like to apologise and make a personal declaration concerning yesterday’s vote on the Ukrainian recommendation where I abstained by mistake. It is very important for me to make this declaration that I am of course in favour of the Recommendation on the Consequences of the Russian Federation's continued aggression against Ukraine: role and response of the Council of Europe.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much, Madam.

And, you know, this does not change the results of the votes, but we have heard what you said and thank you, thank you very much for that, because we were indeed showing as much unanimity as possible and it's now duly noted.

There is someone more who wants to...?

Yes, Madam.


Czech Republic, ALDE


Thank you very much, Mister Chair.

I have the same problem as my colleague. I apologise for this, during the voting on the Ukrainian recommendation I abstained by mistake. For the record, I would like to mention that I am in favour of the Recommendation on the Consequences of the Russian Federation's continued aggression against Ukraine: role and response of the Council of Europe.

Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Our Secretary General?


Council of Europe


Thank you, President

I would like to reassure the two members of the Assembly that their statement will be included in the verbatim record. So, even if we cannot change the vote, this shall be publicly available information. Thank you.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Madam.

Only those who never apologise should apologise as there is nothing wrong with admitting something went wrong. As the former speaker in the debate said, it was a lengthy debate and in the end, we came to a conclusion. Now it is clear what your position is. Thank you very much.

I now call on Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, the rapporteur, to reply to the debate. Aleksander, you know you have 3 minutes. You have the floor.

Mr Aleksander POCIEJ

Poland, EPP/CD, Rapporteur


Thank you very much to all those who have spoken today.

After what Mr Oleksii GONCHARENKO and all our Ukrainian friends have said today, in the face of such a tragedy that has befallen their country, it is very difficult to speak from a legal point of view, but we have to do so because it can allow us to punish all the atrocities that we are witnessing.

I understand the hesitations of my colleagues, Mr George KATROUGALOS, Mr Paul GAVAN, Mr Erkin GADIRLI as well, but I believe that in my report there is still the answer. Perhaps we will not have to go through the ad hoc tribunal. We have the solution and it is written in point 11.5.2: we want to ask the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the possible restrictions that could be imposed on the veto right. And if ever we could make this vote succeed, of course we would do it; and in that case, we will go through the International Criminal Court, no doubt. But we do not have the right, in my opinion, today, to deprive ourselves of the other solution, that is to say of this ad hoc tribunal. The situation is extraordinary and, in this case, I believe that we have the right to submit radical proposals.

I would also like to emphasise that we have taken the decision, and the Chair of our Committee who is next to me, Mr Damien COTTIER, is going to continue this work that we are completing today, making regular reports; this report is only the beginning of a process that will ensure that those who have committed crimes will not go unpunished.

Thank you very much, again, to all of you who have spoken: it was really very informative.

Thank you very much.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you.

Do you want to make a point of order?

Sorry, sir.

Sorry, but we don't intervene in the debate in this way.

The debate has been closed as I said.

You all have to stick to that.

Thank you very much.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

Does the Chair of the Committee want to say anything?


Switzerland, ALDE, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights


Gladly, Mr President.

You have just seen how it goes, sometimes, in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, to clarify the points.

Like Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, I have a background as a historian and I believe that history will judge what is happening now in Ukraine and the responsibilities, and it will judge extremely severely. But as a historian, I would add that it is not enough for history to judge: it is necessary for people and courts to judge. This is the thrust of the report before you today.

The Nuremberg judgment said that "the crime of aggression is the most serious crime because it contains all the others. And it is obvious that the fact of having started this war is causing all the atrocities that we see today.

At this very podium, exactly 20 years ago, Simone Veil reminded us that the Shoah is perhaps, she said, "the most European of all the events of the twentieth century", because it has marked all our countries. It marked the way in which Europe rebuilt itself. After this tragedy, it rebuilt itself on the basis of the law, the law that protects the weakest, international law and the law of war – which existed previously but which was also reinforced by the Geneva Conventions, after the Second World War, in a new version.

These Geneva Conventions, as I said yesterday, are universal: all our states have signed them and they give the obligation to respect – this is a word that has been mentioned – the law of war, because war is not waged outside any framework. There are rules to be respected, they must be respected by all parties at war, and the Geneva Conventions have a common Article 1, which says that states must not only respect international humanitarian law but make sure it is respected.

So we all have an obligation, in our national parliaments and in this Assembly.

It is true that the message – as the rapporteur and others have said – sent out by the Russian President giving out medals after atrocities and basically congratulating these things is an absolutely atrocious, catastrophic message and we must respond. We must respond with the law. This is what the report presented to you today proposes: concrete answers, many very concrete proposals made by the rapporteur.

The most discussed and perhaps the most important is this ad hoc tribunal. It is true that there has been discussion as to whether this would weaken the International Criminal Court: the opinion of the Committee is that, on the contrary, it will strengthen it because we all know that the United Nations Security Council will not take a decision in this sense and that, consequently, it will be necessary to respond, if necessary, by another means. Today, our Assembly can send a clear and strong signal.

I ask you, dear colleagues, to be careful when voting, not to abstain if you support this proposal: I believe it deserves unanimous support.

I would like to conclude by thanking the rapporteur for his work, and also the secretariat, which has given extraordinary support in a few days. It is a document whose quality you have all highlighted and we are very happy with it.

Thank you, Mr President.

Ms Nerea AHEDO

Spain, ALDE


(Undelivered speech, Rules of Procedure Art. 31.2)


Russia's invasion of Ukraine has immediate and medium- to long-term humanitarian, economic and geopolitical consequences that require more than just sanctions and aid.

Two days ago the 85th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica was commemorated, but there were other bombings too. I am Basque and one of my grandmothers lived through that day and have told us about it. Gernika, a symbol of Basque freedoms, became a symbol of horror and barbarie. Sadly, an international icon of peace.

It is said that there is where World War II (and those that have followed) began as a rehearsal for indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population with the aim of spreading terror.

I bring this up because President Zelenskyy, in his speech in the Spanish Congress of Deputies, drew a parallel between Guernica and Ukraine.

Perhaps for this reason the Spanish government finally condemned the attack and participated in the commemoration for the first time in 85 years. It has taken 85 years for this small step, 85 years in which we have learned nothing. Just look at Ukraine.

Today we are witnesses to aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Everyday we see civilian victims of massacres, bombings, rapes, ...

And we are also witnesses, let us not overlook it, to the use of lies as a weapon of war. We experienced it when the official version of Franco's dictatorship claimed that it was the Basque Government who bombed Guernica, even though it had no planes, and we continue to see it now with the Russian propaganda.

Victims deserve truth, justice and reparation. For this, it is necessary to dismantle the lying narratives. It is also necessary to investigate by providing the means. And, of course, to make it clear that impunity has no place.

Those responsible, those who violate human rights or international law must be held accountable and pay for their crimes.

We agree on what needs to be done: investigate, prosecute and, if necessary, punish.

Now we must find consensus on how and agree on the best tool to ensure that the crimes committed in Ukraine do not go unpunished.


Switzerland, ALDE


(Undelivered speech, Rules of Procedure Art. 31.2)


Allow me to make a small preliminary remark as a representative of the Swiss Confederation. As you are probably aware, the Congress of Vienna in 1815 imposed neutrality on Switzerland. Thanks to neutrality, we have always been able to play an important mediating role in conflicts or acts of war. I refer to international Geneva. Neutrality as such is non-negotiable, but it must be interpreted differently depending on the situation. In the case of Ukraine, Switzerland took a clear stand - and condemned the war of aggression in the strongest terms and adopted the EU's measures one-to-one.

Now, however, it is always also a matter of putting an end to wars, killing, raping and the destruction of infrastructures such as hospitals, schools and residential buildings as quickly as possible and thus alleviating the suffering of the civilian population. In other words, to seek solutions, restore peace and ensure respect for human rights. For the latter, the institution of the Council of Europe has a central role to play.

An important basis for peaceful coexistence and the restoration of human rights is the greatest possible degree of justice. The present resolution and recommendation are a good first milestone. It cannot and must not be the case that war crimes and crimes against humanity go unpunished. Neither on the one side nor on the other. The report contains many good approaches to the solution. But we are only at the beginning. One problem is the jurisdiction of the courts. The report clearly shows the problem and therefore calls for an ad hoc court. Whether an ad hoc court can be the right tribunal remains to be seen. These questions must be pursued and clarified.

And therefore this report is a very important, a deciding first step. Congratulations, Mr. Rapporteur.

Now it remains crucial that the war be ended as quickly as possible and that all war crimes - in accordance with the rule of law – are pursued an atoned for.

Ms Marie-France LALONDE



Speech not pronounced (Rules of Procedure, Art. 31.2), only available in French

Ms Elena-Simona SPĂTARU

Romania, ALDE


(Undelivered speech, Rules of Procedure Art. 31.2)


The Russian Federation ceased to be a member of the Council of Europe as decided by the Committee of Ministers, in line with the Opinion no 300 of the Parliamentary Assembly. We unanimously voted in favour of the Opinion recommending a clear response to the serious violations by Russia of its statutory obligations as a Member State.

This example of the strong unity of action of the Council of Europe, calling for an immediate cessation of the aggressions of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, has been followed by other international organizations and countries.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution has deplored in the strongest terms the military aggression and has asked that the Russian Federation immediately cease the use of force against Ukraine and refrain from any threat or use of force against any other Member State. Subsequently, the UN General Assembly also voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council after numerous allegations of atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.These actions should be continued by the international community and by our Organisation. It so happens during the present part-session, through debating two important reports on the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. Firstly, the report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy has been already adopted. Today, we are debating the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, presented by Mr Aleksander Pociej, as a rapporteur, to whom I would like to extend my congratulations.

Based on the existing legal instruments, several solutions have been put forward in this report. The aim is to restore the international humanitarian law ignored and violated by the Russian Federation and to make sure that those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and crime of aggression in Ukraine will be held to account before a competent international criminal court.

We all have been appalled by the horrific images of civilian killings in Bucha, as well as in other towns around Kiev. We have seen the bombed cities, hospitals and civilians’ infrastructures. We have been told about the Ukrainian young and elder people terrified by the war.

A delegation of my party colleagues has also visited Ukraine and has witnessed the grave humanitarian situation. All these crimes and atrocities must be stopped and in order to save lives the international community is obliged to find a swift solution for ensuring the observance of the international humanitarian law on the territory of Ukraine.

It is critically important to do our outmost to support at political level any action meant to hold all the perpetrators accountable before justice.

Therefore, I fully support this report and once again congratulate the work within the Legal Committee.

Thank you.


Ukraine, ALDE


(Undelivered speech, Rules of Procedure Art. 31.2)

Dear Mr President, Dear Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you Mr. Pociej for a report on a core subject today. After providing humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine and support for refugees, ensuring accountability for the war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine and for serious gross violations of international law, democratic values and world order and humanitarian law. Genocide and ecocide on the territory of Ukraine first must be stopped and the second prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

I would like to share with you one story of a Ukrainian girl from Mariupol, Kira Obedinska. She was forcibly kidnapped and taken to Russia after her father was killed in Mariupol. She is an orphan now, but she still has a family. She has the human right to be with the family, with her grandfather, she has the fundamental human right to speak for herself. But russians believe that they have the moral and legal right to decide her fate. No, they do not!

We were fighting in a huge media campaign to bring her back from imprisonment and take her away from the russian war criminals. On Wednesday after the personal intervention of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Kira was successfully released and now she is in hospital in Kyiv with her granddad. Do you know how many Ukrainian children from the occupied territories of Ukraine have been already kidnapped by russians and forcibly deported to the russian federation? More than 120 thousand, both orphans and those who have parents! The number of adults is much bigger.

At the same time, the russian legislation on accelerated procedure for the adoption of Ukrainian children has been discussed and adopted in russia. They did it in 2014, they continue doing that now.

They commit a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Geneva Convention on Civil Protection population during the war, which prohibits forced individual or mass resettlement or deportation.

We want the Human Rights Commissioner, the CoE to stand for the children’s rights, for the human rights as the first and direct priority. To safe each life, to release each illegally kidnaped kid, to put to the court each russian criminal.

I do believe that in this tragic moment of world history the CoE should be united and strong and stand together and will be fighting for our European values and freedom.

Vote: Debate under urgent procedure

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mister Cottier.

Does the rapporteur want to add anything?

Mr Aleksander POCIEJ

Poland, EPP/CD, Rapporteur


Sorry, I made a mistake.

I wanted to thank once again Mr Günter SCHIRMER and Mr Guillem CANO. It was really a work done very quickly and it is an extraordinary work.

Thank you very much for your help.



Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Aleksander POCIEJ.

This was not a point of order, but it was an orderly made remark, so thank you very much for that.

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has presented a draft resolution to which two amendments and two oral sub-amendments have been tabled, and a draft recommendation to which no amendments have been tabled [Doc. 15510].

We will start with consideration of the draft resolution and then we will consider the draft recommendation.

I understand that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendment 2 to the draft resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the Committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

Is that so, Mr Aleksander POCIEJ?


Switzerland, ALDE, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights


Mister President, I can confirm.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Does anybody object?

Not the case. As there is no objection, I declare that Amendment 2 to the draft recommendation has been agreed.

Now we come to an amendment with an oral sub-amendment.

I am looking very carefully at my list to see if I am doing everything right. I call on Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS to support Amendment 1.

Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS

Lithuania, EPP/CD


Yes, sir. Thank you.

That was the idea. Largest support by the rapporteur Mr Aleksander POCIEJ to include ideological war element from war ideology of Russian Mir of Russian world, like mentioning the tool behind the war. That means evaluating the racist ideology of Russia Mir, Russia world.

Thank you. Thank you so much, sir.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS.

I have been informed that Mr Damien COTTIER, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, wishes to propose two oral sub-amendments.

We will deal first with oral sub-Amendment 1 to Amendment 1, which reads as follows, "replace 'after Paragraph 9' with 'after Paragraph 4'."

In my opinion, the oral sub-Amendment is in order under our rules. However, if 10 or more members object it is to be debated. I do not see any objection.

Therefore, I now ask Mr Damien COTTIER to support oral sub-Amendment 1.


Switzerland, ALDE, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights


Thank you, Mr President.

It's just a matter of economy of text.

The beginning of the resolution is more descriptive; then it is calls and invitations.

We felt that the place was better after the current Paragraph 4.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you, Mr Damien COTTIER.

Does anybody wish to speak against the oral Amendment?

I do not see any.

What is the opinion of the mover of the main Amendment?

Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, you are...

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Mr Jacques MAIRE?

In favour.

Did you want to speak again?

Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS

Lithuania, EPP/CD


I'm in favour of the amendment, and in favour of putting what Mr Damien COTTIER said in the place where he mentioned.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

I hope that I did not make too many mistakes, but I understand there is some miscommunication.

Nevertheless, there is no opposition against the Amendment of the movers. Then the Committee is obviously in favour and I now shall put the oral sub-Amendment 1 to the vote.

The vote is open in the hemicycle and remotely.

The vote is closed.

Can I call for the results to be displayed?

The oral sub-Amendment is adopted.


We now turn to oral sub-Amendment 2 to Amendment 1 from Mr Damien COTTIER on behalf of Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which reads as follows:

“Replace the words 'seeks to draw attention' with the words 'draws attention'.”

In my opinion, the oral sub-Amendment is in order under our rules.

However, if 10 or more members object to the oral sub-Amendment it should be debated? That is not the case.

Then I ask Mr Damien COTTIER to support the oral sub-Amendment 2.


Switzerland, ALDE, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights


Mister President, I think it is self-explanatory.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


Thank you very much.

That's always great, if things are self-explanatory.

Does anybody wish to speak against the oral sub-Amendment?

What is the opinion of the mover?

The mover is in favour.

Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS

Lithuania, EPP/CD


I'm absolutely in favour.

Thank you, sir.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


The Committee is also obviously in favour.

I will put oral sub-Amendment 2 to the vote.

The vote is open in the hemicycle and remotely.

The vote is closed.

Can we see the results?

The oral sub-Amendment is carried unanimously.

We will now consider the main Amendment as amended.

Does anybody wish to speak against the Amendment as amended?

That is not the case.

The Committee is obviously...

Mr Damien COTTIER?


Switzerland, ALDE, Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights


The Committee is in favour.

Mr Tiny KOX

Netherlands, UEL, President of the Assembly


The Committee is in favour. 

So I shall now put Amendment 1 as amended to the vote. 

The vote is open.

The vote is closed.

May we see the results displayed?

The Amendment is adopted.

We will now vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 15510 as amended and a simple majority is required. 

The vote in the hemicycle and via remote voting is now open.

The vote is closed.

Can I ask for the results to be displayed?

The Draft Resolution is adopted unanimously.

We will now proceed to vote on the draft recommendation contained in Document 15510. A two-thirds majority is required.

The vote is open in the hemicycle and via remotely.

The vote is closed.

Can we see the results to be displayed?

The Draft Recommendation has also been adopted unanimously. Congratulations, Mr Rapporteur. 

Before closing, I remind leaders of the political groups that we now have a Presidential Committee in my office. The Assembly will hold its next public sitting this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. with the Agenda which was approved on Monday.

This sitting is adjourned.

The sitting is closed at 1:10 p.m.