Barry Andrews MEP welcomes the establishment by the EU of a Joint Investigation Team with Ukraine to collect evidence and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Published on: 04 April 2022

Barry Andrews MEP, in welcoming the establishment of a Joint EU Ukraine Investigation Team, has called for the strengthening of measures to gather evidence of the atrocities of the Russian forces in Ukraine and for such evidence to be collected, analysed and processed in the most complete and effective way possible.

MEP Andrews stated “the distressing pictures coming through this weekend of atrocities committed in Ukraine by Russian forces are heart-breaking and must be fully investigated. With my group Renew Europe I am calling for a synchronised approach from the Ukrainian authorities, the EU, its Member States and agencies to collate evidence in a coordinated manner.

“Surely it is only a matter of time before we see Russian atrocities on an even greater scale in other parts of Ukraine. It is the duty of the EU to hold the perpetrators of war crimes to account. Having investigation teams on the ground will ensure that these war crimes are independently investigated, fully documented and legally pursued. I also strongly welcome the invitation to The International Criminal Court (ICC) to join the EU investigation teams to ensure the highest level of coordination."

MEP Andrews continued “the images of the Bucha massacre released over the weekend are gut-wrenching. They show that a core aim of Putin is not only to violate international humanitarian law, but to demonstrate that the international community is powerless to defend it. I repeat my call of twelve months ago for an EU Action Plan on Impunity.

"As the EU we have to change gears. We need a Council decision to add violations of international humanitarian law to the EU sanctions regime now. We need that decision to come into effect now.  Above all, we need to stop this war now".           

MEP Andrews, full member of the European Parliament's Committee on International Development added:

"The EU has taken unprecedented steps to demonstrate our solidarity with Ukraine, and our horror at the Russian invasion and subsequent war crimes. As we explore all options to force Putin to bring this senseless war to an end, we must ensure that our actions do not undermine our humanitarian efforts. This is why organisations providing humanitarian assistance should be exempt from the scope of sanctions. We also need to carefully evaluate whether certain sanctions could have humanitarian consequences elsewhere in the world, particularly as regards food security".