© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend an EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 2, 2023. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTE
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that an international centre for the prosecution of the crime of aggression in Ukraine would be set up in The Hague.
“It will coordinate the collection of evidence, it will be embedded in the joint investigation team which is supported by our agency Eurojust,” von der Leyen said during an official visit to Kyiv along with over a dozen other senior EU officials for two days of high-level talks.
An act of aggression is defined by the United Nations as the “invasion or attack by the armed forces of a state (on) the territory of another state, or any military occupation”.
The International Criminal Court, also based in The Hague in the Netherlands, is already investigating alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The ICC can prosecute genocide in Ukraine but has no jurisdiction over alleged crimes of aggression by Russia there.