French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna said on Tuesday that while Russia's crimes against humanity in Ukraine must not go unpunished, France does not currently support the creation of a special tribunal.
Colonna, who was on a short trip to Estonia, stressed it is important that those who committed the abuses and crimes in Ukraine, as well as those who ordered them to be carried out, are prosecuted.
However, the minister said France does not yet support the creation of a special tribunal to investigate war crimes and aggression in Ukraine.
"We resolutely, constantly support international justice so that these crimes do not remain unpunished," she said, adding that France is supporting the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and has sent investigators to Ukraine.
"[But] We already have a number of tools available to fight against impunity, and, on top of that, we can consider the possibility of additional tools that do not exist at the moment that should have an added value to the existing international court system and also would require the appropriate legitimacy so that if such a court were to be set up they could be perceived as being efficient and legitimate. We are not there yet," she said, through a translator.
"There are some ongoing thoughts. It's been on the agenda of the European Council of Foreign Affairs. But that being said, at the moment, we shall do nothing that would impede the efficiency of existing tools which are already available to those who want to fight against the impurity of the war crimes committed in Ukraine."
Reinsalu agreed with Colonna that "there can be no peace without justice".
"Therefore we hope the European Commission will deliver an assessment which was asked for by the European Council and we can move further in that matter," Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have all called for a tribunal into Russia's war crimes in Ukraine.
Colonna previously visited Estonia in 2001 as part of President Jacques Chirac's delegation and in 2006 as junior European minister.
The press conference can be watched below.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera