Minister of Justice of Ukraine Denys Maliuska and his deputy Iryna Mudra held an online video conference with Minister for Justice of the Republic of Latvia Inese Lībiņa-Egnere. The parties discussed, among other things, the creation of a Compensation Mechanism for Ukraine and the confiscation of russian assets in foreign countries, including seizure of foreign currency reserves, and ways of further cooperation between the two ministries.
“Today Ukraine is defending not only its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukraine defends democratic values, human rights and the rule of law for the entire world. Bringing the aggressor state of russia to full international responsibility will be crucial for the future of the world order. This will demonstrate to any aggressive state the real legal consequences of an armed aggression,” said Denys Maliuska.
As a first step in the process of establishing the Compensation Mechanism, Ukraine seeks to create an international Register of Damages. It will collect information on claims and record evidence of damages and other violations of international law committed by russia in Ukraine or against Ukraine, to be used in future litigation.
The key to effective operation of the Compensation Mechanism and a guarantee that all victims will receive fair compensation is the financial sourcing of the Compensation Fund. Ukraine is convinced that its main source of financing should be the blocked and frozen assets of the russian federation and the sanctioned russian citizens.
“Therefore, it is of fundamental importance for us that the frozen assets of russia and designated persons remain blocked, confiscated and subsequently transferred to a Compensation Fund, which will operate within the framework of the international compensation mechanism. Achieving this goal will ensure compensation to victims of armed aggression and rapid post-conflict recovery of Ukraine at the expense of the aggressor state. In order to hold russia financially liable for all the damage caused, we call on our international partners to maintain the sanctions already imposed, to further increase sanctions pressure on russia, and to freeze the assets of the sanctioned persons,” emphasized Iryna Mudra.
“We are grateful to Latvia and all UN member states that supported the UN General Assembly Resolution of November 14 on ‘Furtherance of remedy and reparation for aggression against Ukraine’. We expect that this will accelerate the legal confiscation of russia’s frozen foreign exchange reserves and assets abroad to compensate Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens,” emphasized Denys Maliuska.
The Latvian side, in turn, assured of their country’s continued support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the need to continue sanctions pressure on russia until the armed aggression against Ukraine was completely stopped and our country regained sovereignty over its entire territory within internationally recognized borders.
According to Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, the main areas of support for Ukraine, which Latvia will continue to work on both at the national and international levels, are, firstly, bringing russia, its leadership and perpetrators to justice for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and secondly, seizure and confiscation of financial and property assets of russia in favor of Ukraine. Latvia is currently working on the implementation of both initiatives in close coordination with its Baltic partners, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Poland. The Latvian side supports Estonia’s political declaration on the start of development of a national mechanism for confiscation of russian assets in favor of Ukraine, will closely track the progress of the Estonian side and is ready to work with Ukraine to find similar solutions. At the same time, Latvia also considers it necessary to promote the relevant processes at the pan-European level, primarily within the EU, as this will help to achieve the creation of universal mechanisms.