Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants to hold the Russian leadership accountable for the aggressive war in Ukraine with an international special court. The tribunal should be able to investigate and try the Russian leadership.

The court outside Ukraine should derive its jurisprudence from Ukrainian criminal law, the Greens politician made clear on Monday in a keynote speech at the Hague Academy of International Law. Baerbock said she spoke with her Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba during her visit to eastern Ukraine last week about creating such a possibility together with some partners. It is important that this is supplemented by an international component. For example, a location outside Ukraine with financial support from partners and with international prosecutors and judges can underpin the impartiality and legitimacy of this court, emphasized the minister.

A special institution is “not an ideal solution, not even for me,” said Baerbock. “But the fact that we need this special solution is because our international law currently has a loophole.” In addition, we are not talking about problems in 20 years, “but about justice today”. You need a “very clear message to the Russian leadership (…) and thus also to everyone else in the world that a war of aggression in this world will not go unpunished”.

At the same time, Baerbock proposed a reform of international criminal law in order to close a glaring legal gap. Accordingly, the legal basis for the International Criminal Court in The Hague should be adjusted in the medium term so that the offense of aggressive war can also be prosecuted without restriction. One of the reasons why this is currently not possible is that neither Russia nor Ukraine are contracting parties to the Rome Statute as the legal basis for the court.

The German armaments group Rheinmetall could not deliver repaired Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine until 2024 at the earliest. According to Papperger, the armaments group still has 22 vehicles from the Leopard 2 and 88 vehicles from the Leopard 1.

China has long quietly supported Russia’s war in Ukraine. Then there was clear resentment when Xi condemned Putin’s nuclear threats. Now the uncanny dictator friendship should flourish again.