Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has accused Russia of carrying out “atrocious war crimes” in Ukraine and called for a special tribunal to be formed to investigate and prosecute them.
Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, von der Leyen said the Russian invasion of Ukraine “is an extraordinary situation and it needs strong reaction of the global community”.
“Because this is not only a fight for Ukraine of survival and defending its sovereignty and territory, but it is also a fight of democracy against autocracy and for the respect of the international law,” the top EU bureaucrat said.
“Therefore, we (the European Union) think this needs a special tribunal,” she said. “Russia cannot get away with what it’s done to the Ukrainian people.”
The government in Kyiv has demanded that a special international tribunal be set up to try Russian leaders over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We will not forgive a single (act of) torture or life taken. Each criminal will be held accountable,” Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, said in Davos.
Ukraine said on Tuesday that 22 people were still missing after a Russian missile struck an apartment block in the city of Dnipro, killing at least 44 people. Saturday’s strike was one of the deadliest attacks since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.
The Kremlin has denied its forces were responsible.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, promised to bring those responsible for the attack to justice, saying it is “a fundamental task” for Ukraine and its Western allies. -AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES