The Register of damages caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine will be based in The Hague and will have a satellite office in Ukraine. It was established by the summit of heads of state and government of the Council of Europe underway in Reykjavik, as announced today. Thirty-seven of the 46 member countries as well as three observer states, Canada, Japan, the United States, and the European Union have signed up to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the Registry. (WAR IN UKRAINE. THE SPECIAL – LIVE UPDATES)
Claims for damages
The Registry is established for an initial period of three years and will be used to record evidence and information relating to claims for damages, loss or injury resulting from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Thus, it is underlined, the way is paved for a future international compensation mechanism for the victims of Russian aggression. Among the countries of the Council of Europe that remain outside are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia and Turkey.
EU: a historic decision
The decision to set up the damage register under the auspices of the Council of Europe is a historic decision for the EU. According to Therese Blanchet, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, “the register will help victims record their losses and is vital to any compensation mechanism. Backed by a broad coalition of member and non-member states, and the EU, it is one of the first legally binding decisions to hold Russia accountable for its actions.” As the note explains, the EU, represented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has guaranteed a substantial contribution towards start-up costs.