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Victor Pinchuk Foundation hosts Justice in Ukraine and the Future of Europe Discussion on the occasion of WEF 2023

On 19 January 2023, Victor Pinchuk Foundation held in Davos (Switzerland) Justice in Ukraine and the Future of Europe discussion. The event was held as part of the Ukraine is You project, organized jointly with PinchukArtCentre and in cooperation with the Office of the President of Ukraine. The project brings together global thinkers, experts and people from on the ground in Ukraine to discuss the assault on the country, Russian war crimes and also the hope and empowerment of defending freedom and independence.

Among the speakers of the panel were Egils Levits, the President of the Republic of Latvia; Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, and Rostyslav Shurma, the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, moderated the discussion.

Taking the floor, Roberta Metsola recalled the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine: “On 24 February, we had a choice - either we look the other way as we did before or we fight with you. That was never a question for the European Parliament. We knew that we would fight this brutal, illegal and unprovoked invasion.” 

Commenting on the adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution on setting up a special tribunal for Russia a couple of hours earlier, she said: “It took us a long time, but we managed. I think this sends the strongest message that the European Parliament could send.”

“The question is, who will be responsible for trying the crime of aggression. There is no other tribunal in the world that has the jurisdiction to do that. We decided to ask the European Parliament to adopt this resolution because we knew if we did not go first then no one else would. ” she added.   

Egils Levits lauded the adoption of the European Parliament’s resolution: “I think that this resolution of the European Parliament on establishing a special tribunal is a huge step forward.”

He also brought up the need for setting up a mechanism for reparations: “We should create a legal mechanism on using and taking away Russia’s seized assets and giving them to a fund or in any other way to Ukraine. This would be a huge amount that will be needed to rebuild Ukraine.”

Egils Levits also noted that he doesn’t see any signs of Europe’s fatigue with the war in Ukraine, which he described as a “good message”. However, some countries are indecisive about giving Kyiv offensive weapons, including tanks, which he sees as a major concern: “I think that the right policy today, at the beginning of 2023, is to give all necessary weapons - tanks and so on - to ensure that the Ukrainian army can prevail during this time, before the Russian industry started working on producing all the weapons. This first half of 2023 is decisive for the victory of Ukraine.”

Carl Bild built on the topic of  the supply  of tanks to Ukraine: “An important Ramstein meeting is taking place in Germany tomorrow.We now need to ensure the transition towards a long-term planning for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We need to focus on the long term - building a strong Ukrainian army that can defend the country in the future.”

He added: “Financial support is equally important to make the Ukrainian state viable, so you can pay pensions, keep schools up and running, see that those deprived of housing have roofs over their heads and ensure proper medical care. That would cost a lot of money.”

“We should very clearly signal to Putin that we are going to continue supporting Ukraine - not only verbally, but also with concrete actions that are visible and strong,” he added.

Speaking about holding Russia accountable for committed crimes in Ukraine, Rostyslav Shurma said that the issue of timing is crucial: “We need to be very decisive.s. Speed is important for several reasons. First, there are many other potential threats in the world, and if there is no predefined mechanism what a response would be their [aggressors] responsibility, it could provoke them to act, since they will understand that the time needed to achieve the result is shorter than an adequate judicial response from the civilized world. Second, this sends a very strong signal to the aggressor.”

He also stressed: “This is the inflection point for the entire world, which will decide the direction of development for the next 100 years. Are we able to protect our democratic values and civilized capitalism that we built altogether? If not, the world can change substantially. This is what really matters in 2023.”

Photos from the event are available here

Video from the event is available here 

#UkraineIsYouDavos #DavosUkrainianBreakfast

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Contacts for media-inquires:

Nataliya Vovk

Communications Director, EastOne and Victor Pinchuk Foundation

+380672179677 mail to: [email protected]

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