Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ message on the occasion of the “Bucha Summit” in Kyiv

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed the “Bucha Summit” held today in Kyiv to mark the one-year anniversary of the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Bucha region and the subsequent discovery of the massacre of civilians.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ message follows:

President Zelenskyy, dear colleagues,

I wish I had been able to join you live today. Still fresh in my mind is the shock I felt when I first heard about the massacre and saw the appalling images of the heinous crimes committed in Bucha last year. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought war back to the European continent and has posed an unprecedented threat to Europe and to the international order.

The massacre in Bucha has become a potent symbol of this unjust and horrific war. Unfortunately, it was not the only one. Let us not forget all the other terrible stories of unspeakable violence and suffering, such as Borodianka, Irpin and Hostomel. Mariupol is now a ghost town. We all remember the images of the theatre in Mariupol, which sheltered civilians, lying in ruins with hundreds of people killed, we remember the images of the Mariupol maternity hospital demolished by a Russian strike.

While Ukraine and its people continue their brave fight, defending freedom and independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, today, on the first anniversary of Bucha’s liberation, we owe it to the victims of the atrocities, we owe it to the members of their families to support all efforts to ensure full accountability, both at the national and international level, for the most serious international crimes committed in Ukraine.

Greece is fully supportive of such efforts. As a long-standing supporter of the International Criminal Court, which plays a key role in the quest for accountability for the core international crimes falling within its jurisdiction, my country reaffirms the importance of upholding the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to defending its integrity. A year ago, together with 42 other countries, we referred the situation in Ukraine to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. This was an unprecedented step in the Court’s history, allowing for the swift and timely engagement of the Prosecutor and his Office.

Together with our EU partners we have welcomed the recent agreement for the creation of the International Centre for Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine in the Hague.

We stand ready to explore all possible legal tools establishing an appropriate mechanism for the adjudication of this crime always in accordance with international law and prevailing standards of international criminal justice.

Lastly, we also welcome the recent signature of the agreement for the establishment of an office of the International Criminal Court in Ukraine as an important step towards enhancing cooperation between the Court and the Ukrainian authorities.

All victims deserve justice, as without justice there is no peace. Accountability for the core international crimes committed in Ukraine is a priority for Greece and the European Union. We offer our full support to the International Criminal Court and to Ukraine to this end.