The justice ministers of the G7 states met for the first time, against the backdrop of Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann pointed out that this was not only an attack on one country, but also against a value system and against liberal democracy.
Blatant violation of international law
Minister of Justice Buschmann used clear language in the concluding press conference: “The global community condemns this war most vigorously.” The targeted destruction of civil infrastructure was a severe war crime, he continued. “Cold temperatures and the winter are being used as a weapon,” the minister said, adding that this was despicable.
Alongside the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin and the German Chief Federal Prosecutor Peter Frank also reported on the status of the investigations.
Agreement on Berlin Declaration
In a joint declaration the G7 Justice Ministers agreed on more intense and accelerated cooperation for the investigations. The efforts of the prosecution authorities are to be coordinated more effectively, and all activities are to be interlinked seamlessly.
“We must succeed in prosecuting the war crimes committed in Ukraine more effectively,” Buschmann said. “We want to ensure that evidence can be exchanged more easily between our different legal systems, and prevent witnesses from being questioned more often than necessary.”
The minister said they had a clear message: “War criminals must not feel safe anywhere. We are going to bring them to trial. No war crime must remain unpunished.”