Reykjavik, May 17: Europe and the United States on Wednesday hailed a newly created “register of damage” for Ukraine as a first step to making Russia pay for its war.
The instrument, created by the 46-nation Council of Europe, records claims of damage or loss, paving the way to a future mechanism to compensate victims of the conflict.
The register is a “first, necessary, urgent step” ensuring “justice that is centred on the victims” of the war, said council head Marija Pejcinovic Buric on the second day of the summit in Iceland.
She said that, by early Wednesday, 40 countries had signed onto the register, including the United States, Japan and all other G7 nations.
Another three countries were finalising internal procedures to do so.
She and other leaders emphasised that countries outside the Council of Europe — a pan-continental rights body separate from the European Union but incorporating all 27 EU member states — could back the initiative.
The register, established initially for three years, will be lodged in The Hague with a satellite office in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, at the summit, hailed the register as “an important milestone on the road to justice and reparations for Ukraine and the Ukrainians who have suffered so much from this war.
“The hard work begins now — we need to ensure that the register becomes operational soon, so that victims of Russian aggression could submit their claims.”