At least 40 countries have signed the Register of Damage, an instrument approved by the 46-nation Council of Europe to document the damage in Ukraine so that Russia can be held liable for compensation.
The instrument, signed on May 17 at the Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, set up an evidentiary record ahead of possible future prosecution of Russian leaders. The document is a “necessary” step ensuring “justice that is centred on the victims” of the war, said Marija Pejčinović Burić, the council’s head.
European leaders hailed the new instrument for Ukraine they signed on to as “historic” and a first step to making Russia pay for its war. The instrument sets up an evidentiary record ahead of a possible future prosecution of Russian leaders, thus laying the groundwork for compensation, said Buric.
The countries that signed the document include the United States and all other G7 nations. Other countries were finalising internal procedures to do so. Marija Pejcinovic Buric and other leaders at the summit emphasised that countries outside the Council of Europe, which is a pan-continental rights body separate from the European Union but incorporating all 27 EU member states, could support the register. Russia was removed from the council last year after invading Ukraine.
The register of damage will also be lodged in The Hague, with a satellite office in Ukraine. It will detail war-time claims of harm and destruction wrought by Russia.