US, France pledge to hold Russia accountable for 'war crimes' in Ukraine
Washington [US], December 2 (ANI): US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to hold Russia accountable for "widely documented atrocities and war crimes" committed by the regular armed forces in Ukraine, the two leaders said in a statement issued by the White House.
Both the leaders "reiterate their steadfast resolve to hold Russia to account for widely documented atrocities and war crimes, committed both by its regular armed forces and by its proxies, including mercenary entities such as Vagner and others, through support for international accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, and the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, sanctions, and other means," the statement reads. Following the meeting between the US President and the French President, the leaders came together for a joint press conference and together condemned Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and stress that "intentionally targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure constitutes war crimes whose perpetrators must be held accountable."
Both the leaders also condemned and reject Russia's illegal attempted annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory, in clear violation of international law.
Earlier, in October, Russia announced the annexation of four regions - Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
"The United States and France deplore Russia's deliberate escalatory steps, notably its irresponsible nuclear rhetoric and disinformation regarding alleged chemical attacks, and biological and nuclear weapons programs. They reaffirm their nations' continued support for Ukraine's defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the provision of political, security, humanitarian, and economic assistance to Ukraine for as long as it takes," the statement reads.
"This includes the provision of significant resources to support Ukrainian civilian resilience through the winter, including stepping up the delivery of air defence systems and equipment needed to repair Ukraine's energy grid," the statement added.
The United States and France plan to continue working with partners and allies to coordinate assistance efforts, including at the international conference taking place in Paris on December 13, 2022. They also intend to continue providing robust direct budget support for Ukraine and to urge international financial institutions to scale up their financial support.
The United States and France reiterate their duty to uphold applicable international obligations and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
The United States and France remain committed to addressing the wider effects of Russia's war, including working with the international community to build greater resilience to food and energy disruptions, according to the statement. (ANI)