Zelenski visits International Criminal Court, calls for “very clear message” to NATO on Ukraine’s possible membership
Against the backdrop of Russian accusations to the United States of being behind the Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin, new moves surround the course of the War. In this case, Volodymir Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has on Thursday made a surprise visit to the Netherlands, including a visit to the headquarters of the International Criminal Court (ICC).in The Hague. The relevance of this surprise visit lies in the fact that this international organization – the ICC – is responsible for the investigation of the alleged crimes war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.
Thus, while the attack on the Kremlin generates doubts in the West under accusations of being a set-up, Zelenski in this visit has made known some requests such as that of a “very clear message” from NATO about the possibility of Ukraine joining the Alliance “after the war.”.
Zelenski’s agenda has been kept secret after his arrival on Wednesday night in the European country for security reasons. The ICC issued in mid-March two arrest warrantsone against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the other against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, for allegedly illegally deporting children and transferring them from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia, which could constitute a war crime.
In the face of these investigations, the Ukrainian president arrived Thursday morning at the headquarters of the Dutch Senate in The Hague, where he was received by the president of this Chamber, Jan Anthonie Bruijn, and the president of the Parliament, Vera Bergkamp. Zelenski landed on Wednesday night at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in a Dutch government plane, after having traveled on Wednesday to Helsinki unexpectedly in order to meet with the leaders of Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.
“Punish the crimes of Russian aggression.”
During this visit, the Ukrainian president demanded before the ICC the creation of a special tribunal. “to punish the crimes of Russian aggression.” and specifically against President Vladimir Putin. Putin “deserves to be condemned for his criminal actions from here,” the Ukrainian leader said. In turn, Zelensky rejected any kind of “hybrid immunity for war criminals.” and stressed that only a “full-fledged” tribunal could guarantee “full justice” and “lasting peace”. He also insisted that true justice must be sought and that “bold decisions” were needed to correct the shortcomings of international law.
Of course, he was also the ideal place to emphasize that “no aggressor will now think that he can do away with the values of Europe.” and pointed out that Russia “is trying to hide its own weakness”. In turn, as a token of appreciation he praised that the Netherlands has “defended freedom, the rule of law and democracy”, as well as “Europe and its way of life”. “I am grateful that The Hague is becoming a hub of justice on behalf of all those who have suffered aggression and other crimes.”
Support from the Dutch government
Zelenski’s visit also coincides this Thursday, May 4, with the Memorial Day, in remembrance of the fallen of World War II, a day on which several commemoration events are planned, the most important in Amsterdam’s Dam Square, although it has not been confirmed whether the Ukrainian leader will have any role in these events.
Zelenski has traveled in recent months. frequently abroadincluding to the United Kingdom, France and Poland, with his visit last December to the United States being his first trip abroad since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February last year.
In addition, members of the Dutch government have traveled to Kiev on several occasions since the war began to meet with Zelenski and other Ukrainian authorities, and the Netherlands has supported Ukraine with arms, money, and technology, as well as training of Ukrainian soldiers on Dutch territory. The Dutch government has mobilized some 2.5 billion euros this year to support Ukraine in the war, which justifies the thanks on the part of the Ukrainian leader. For the most part these funds are intended to provide military support to Kiev, buying material directly from the arms industry.