In line with the news report from CNN International news agency; Six Council of Europe member states have made the surprising decision to abstain from signing an agreement on the registration of Russian war crimes. This agreement, adopted during the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik on May 17, has garnered significant international attention and debate.
Out of the 46 member states of the Council of Europe, 40 have already signed the document or expressed their commitment to doing so. Notably, the United States, Japan, and the European Union as a collective entity have also shown their support for the agreement. However, the non-participation of the remaining six member states has raised eyebrows and generated speculation.
The countries that have chosen not to sign the agreement at present include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia, and Türkiye. Serbia, particularly, has made its stance clear, having recently experienced public discord with Ukraine.
The Serbian government had previously announced its unwillingness to sign any decisions it deemed "Russophobic," explicitly disregarding the significance of the summit altogether.
Hungary, under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has been known for its autocratic regime and its divergent approach to European integration, leaning more towards fostering a close relationship with Russia. Similarly, Türkiye, represented by a low-level deputy minister at the Reykjavik summit, has been careful not to offend Russia, a recurring pattern in their diplomatic approach.
CNN, in an article on the matter, characterized the behavior of these countries, along with the others abstaining from signing, as predictable.
On the other hand, Ukraine's Ministry of Justice, which spearheaded the negotiations surrounding this agreement, considers the current outcome a tremendous success. Deputy Minister of Justice Iryna Mudra, who has been leading the compensation negotiations with Russia, expressed astonishment at the support received.
Just two days prior to the summit, the expectation was for around 35 signatures, but the actual number surpassed expectations, with 43 states ultimately approving the agreement. This achievement sets the stage for the establishment of a register of damages caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine, and serves as a crucial step towards securing compensation for these inflicted harms.
While the refusal of certain member states to sign the agreement introduces complexities and questions about their motives, it also highlights the significance of the document itself. The international community continues to closely monitor the unfolding developments, as the agreement holds potential implications for justice, accountability, and the ongoing pursuit of compensation in the wake of Russian aggression.
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