22 Aug 2023 10:03

Ratifying Rome Statute not relevant to Ukraine now - deputy head of Zelensky's Office

MOSCOW. Aug 22 (Interfax) - Any talk about the need for Ukraine to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not relevant during the crisis, Deputy Head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's Office Andrei Smirnov said.

"I would not raise the Rome Statute issue now. I can explain why. It is because someone has planted this fear that if the Rome Statute is ratified, our servicemen may be subjected to criminal prosecution by the International Criminal Court - not in us, but among the absolute majority of our military," Ukrainian media quoted Smirnov as saying on the sidelines of an international conference in Kiev on Monday.

In fact, the ICC could prosecute Ukrainian citizens without ratifying the Rome Statute, he said.

"Now it is necessary to approach the ratification of the Rome Statute carefully, giving a clear answer to several questions: why do it now, during the crisis, without appropriate explanatory work among the military that ratification will not bring anything new for them. The second question is why Ukraine should do it," Smirnov said.

A whole number of countries, including the Unites States, have not ratified the Rome Statute, he said.

Smirnov said he thinks that exploring the advisability of ratifying the Rome Statute should be postponed for a while, for after the crisis is over.