Andriy Yermak discusses support of Ukraine on way to OECD membership, creation of special tribunal on crime of aggression with heads of foreign diplomatic missions
Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak held a meeting with the heads of foreign diplomatic missions. The meeting was devoted to the issue of our country's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the creation of an ad hoc criminal tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
The meeting was attended by the heads of the embassies of the United States, France, Canada, Italy, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Germany, the UK and the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Andriy Smyrnov and Roman Mashovets, deputy heads of the Office of the President, also took part in it.
Initially, Yermak noted the positive news that has recently been coming from the front from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and thanked the partner countries for the help provided to our state and heroic people in the fight against the bloody aggressor.
At the same time, he said that even during such a terrible full-scale war, Ukraine is moving along the path of reforms, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is fundamentally committed to this.
In particular, the head of the Office of the President reminded that Ukraine seeks to join the OECD and the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. Our country's application for the OECD membership will be considered at the meeting of the OECD Council at the end of September this year, and the official request to join the OECD Working Group should be considered at the meeting of this body on October 10-14.
Yermak asked the diplomats to promote their countries' support for the relevant decisions.
"Thanks to its unique experience in supporting the post-war reconstruction process, the OECD should act as one of the key international players during the reconstruction of Ukraine. But it is important for us not just to restore the Ukrainian economy after the war. We strive to build an extremely successful democratic country," he said.
According to the head of the President's Office, participation and membership in the OECD Working Group on Bribery is also very important for Ukraine, because our state works hard to make processes in its public and private sectors as transparent and accountable as possible.
"Post-war Ukraine should become extremely attractive for investments. For this, every investor must be sure that his legal rights and interests are protected. Therefore, we are working on strengthening anti-corruption institutions, reforming the justice system, strengthening all law enforcement agencies," Yermak said.
United States Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, for her part, expressed her support for Ukraine's desire for membership in the OECD and the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
"I believe that this is a very positive signal regarding Ukraine's commitment to fighting corruption and continuing reforms. This will be an important signal for international investors, in particular the American business community," she said.
The head of the President's Office also briefed the heads of foreign diplomatic missions on Ukraine's initiative to establish an ad hoc criminal tribunal, the mandate of which will extend exclusively to prosecute the crime of aggression.
"We call on your countries to support this idea, because the crime of aggression must not go unpunished. The crime of aggression, for which the world did not have the courage to punish Russia in 2008, when it came to Georgia. The crime of aggression that the world ignored when Russia came to Crimea and eastern Ukraine," he said.
Yermak reminded that yesterday another mass burial of innocent tortured and killed people was found in the city of Izium, liberated from the Russian occupiers.
"All these war crimes must be investigated and every guilty person must be punished. In addition, this is another argument for recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism," the head of the Office of the President said.
According to Smyrnov, deputy head of the President's Office, specific persons are guilty of the crime of aggression, its legal proof is as simple as possible and does not require complex examinations and numerous interrogations.
Smyrnov said that the Ukrainian side is finalizing the draft international agreement on the establishment of this tribunal to start negotiations on its signing.
Answering the question of Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk, he said that Ukraine is in favor of creating a tribunal based on an open international treaty to which various civilized countries will join.
"It's key for Ukraine that this tribunal be as authoritative as possible from the very beginning. And this requires the support of your countries," Smyrnov said.
Canada's ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza stressed the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for the horrific crimes committed during Russia's war against Ukraine.
French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins said that his country will support Ukraine in the investigation of war crimes by sending relevant specialists in the near future.
Yermak noted the importance of such assistance to ensure that all relevant actions take place quickly, since new and new crimes are opened with the liberation of the occupied territories.
"We believe that if we all continue working together now, we will bring our joint victory closer. Ukraine shows that it is possible. And once again I thank your peoples, countries, governments and leaders for their help and support," he said.