Russia committed “crimes against humanity” in its war in Ukraine, US Vice President Kamala Harris said on Saturday from Germany. in a definition that was supported by the head of the US Foreign Ministry, Antony Blinken, who spoke of a “generalized and systematic attack by the Kremlin against the civilian population.”
“The United States formally established that Russia committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine,” Harris said at the Security Conference in Munich, an international forum that brings together leaders, politicians and experts from some 100 countries and to which Moscow was not invited for the first time in two decades.
“We have examined the evidence, we know the legal regulations and there is no doubt that these are crimes against humanity,” Harris said.
The vice president cited cases of summary executions, torture and rape by Russian forces in Ukraine, as well as “the transfer of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians” to Russia.
“I affirm to all those who have perpetrated these crimes and their superiors or accomplices: you will answer”, finished off, according to the AFP news agency.
Is This is the first time the United States has formally designated Russia as a country that committed war crimes. and against humanity in Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022.
In a separate statement, the head of US diplomacy assured that “these are not random or isolated acts”, and spoke of a “Widespread and systematic attack by the Kremlin against the civilian population in Ukraine”.
Along the same lines as Harris, Blinken affirmed that by using the classification of crimes against humanity, Washington commits itself that the members of the Russian forces and others responsible, who have not yet been identified, “account for their actions” before the courts.
“There can be no impunity for these crimes,” he concluded.
Since the start of the invasion, The United States documented or cataloged more than 30,600 cases of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, according to the US State Department.
On the second day of the Munich conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for more military support for kyiv, when affirming that this will be the only way to stop the advances of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
“The greatest risk of all is that Putin wins. If Putin wins in Ukraine, the message to him and other authoritarian leaders will be that they can use force to get whatever they want,” he said.
As indicated, the Kremlin mobilizes “hundreds of thousands of troops” and is getting “more weapons from authoritarian countries like Iran and North Korea.”
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also called on the Western allies at the event to “redouble efforts” on military support for Ukraine.
“It’s time to speed up, because Ukraine needs equipment to survive”insisted the president of the Commission, the Executive arm of the European Union (EU).
Within this framework, members of the EU are studying the possibility of making joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine, a subject that they will address on Monday in Brussels at a meeting of defense ministers.
However, the idea causes controversy within the bloc and was criticized this Saturday by the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, who warned that Europe is constantly on the brink of war with Moscow because the West is supplying more and more lethal weapons to kyiv.
“If they are supplying weapons, if they are providing satellite information, if they are training the soldiers of one of the warring parties, if they are financing the work of the entire state apparatus and imposing sanctions against the other side, then whatever they say, they are getting involved in the war, so far indirectly,” he said in a speech in Budapest, according to the Sputnik agency.
Before his supporters, Orban stressed that Hungary – which is a member of NATO – does not send weapons to kyiv and rejects sanctions on Russia, since that contradicts its national interests.
“We maintain economic cooperation with Russia and even advise it to the entire Western world, because without ties there will be no ceasefire or peace negotiations,” he stressed.
The commitment to a diplomatic exit was also addressed this Saturday at the Security Conference in Munich, where China announced that it is finalizing preparations for a “peace initiative” to end the war in Ukraine, in an effort to address the apparent “return to Cold War mentality” among the world’s superpowers.
“China will present a document with his position on the political solution of the Ukrainian question”Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reported during his appearance, without specifying when.
According to the minister, the text will reiterate the thesis on the impossibility of winning nuclear wars and also will call to oppose attacks against atomic facilities to prevent a catastrophe.
Wang claimed that China, which rejected the Russian invasion but did not openly endorse sanctions against the Kremlin, will always be on the side of “peace and dialogue” with a view to a “political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine”.
Russian forces have committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine. On behalf of all the victims, known and unknown – justice must be served. pic.twitter.com/XLU4maEPTH
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) February 18, 2023
“Perhaps there are forces that do not want peace negotiations to take place, because they do not care about the lives and deaths of Ukrainians, just as they do not care about the damage to Europe, may have more important strategic objectives than Ukraine,” said the diplomat, who will travel directly to Moscow after the event.
The initiative was praised by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, who nonetheless it ruled out any territorial concessions to Russia.
“World peace is based precisely on all of us recognizing the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each country,” Baerbock said, insisting that without a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, there is no chance of ending the conflict.