The US ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday she would not rule out supporting a war crimes tribunal for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice accusing Russia of targeting civilians during its invasion – with Ukrainian President Zelensky saying on Sunday that Moscow’s heinous crimes border on “genocide”.
“We demand an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease its military activities now and we expect the trials to begin next week,” Zelensky tweeted.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield was questioned during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether the Biden administration would support a tribunal in The Hague.
“It’s all on the table as we move forward,” she replied.
Thomas-Greenfield added that the UN Security Council will meet on Sunday to decide whether to convene an emergency session of the UN General Assembly to deal with the Russian invasion of the Ukraine that Moscow, as a permanent member of the Security Council, will not be able to convene. veto.
Russia, along with the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom, are permanent members of the UN Security Council and have the right of veto.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the UN to strip Russia of its Security Council veto because its actions in Ukraine amount to “genocide”.
“Ukraine has submitted its claim against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression,” Zelensky tweeted on Sunday.
In a video message released on Sunday, the Ukrainian leader said that “Russia’s criminal actions against Ukraine bear signs of genocide.”
“This is terror. They will bomb our Ukrainian cities even more, they will kill our children even more subtly. This is the evil that has come to our land and must be destroyed,” he said.
On Friday, Russia already vetoed a resolution drafted by the United States and Albania in the Security Council that demanded that Moscow immediately cease its attack and withdraw all its troops from Ukraine.
Thomas-Greenfield said she believed Russia could be cut off from the UN and other international bodies.
“We can isolate them. We can isolate them in the United Nations. We can isolate them in the specialized agencies of the UN,” she said during an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press”. “They feel this isolation.
“There will be a meeting in Geneva, at the UN Human Rights Council, where they will be challenged again and their attacks will be brought to the attention of the world.
“So again, we have a number of tools to pressure the Russians and we use all of those tools,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Fierce fighting has broken out in a number of Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kiev, as Ukrainian forces mount a fierce defense against invading Russian troops.
The UN reported that on Saturday night there were at least 240 civilian casualties, including 64 dead, as a result of the fighting.
He also said damage to civilian infrastructure has left thousands of people without power and water, while hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed and many communities have been isolated due to Russian shelling of roads and bridges.
With pole wires
New York Post