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Meeting in the Hague over Russia’s war crimes and Draghi’s resignation: a review of international news

At the Hague conference, an approach to the investigation of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine is being developed, the Minister of Finance of Canada made accusations against the Russian delegation over their responsibility for the war at the G20 summit, and the Italian Prime Minister resigned.

In the meantime, the U.S. is trying to improve its relations with the Palestinians, and gas supply through Nord Stream 1 is being temporarily restored despite the sanctions.

The Page offers a digest of international news that came out at the end of the July 11–15 business week.


In the Hague, Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine have been discussed

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On Thursday, a conference was held in Hague, where representatives from 45 countries discussed the development of an approach to the investigation of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine, The News York Times wrote.

At the conference, testimony about atrocities committed by the Russian military was heard. The participants offered about $20 million to support investigations by the International Criminal Court, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, and the United Nations.

In particular, Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, spoke about the need to coordinate investigators from various organizations to avoid a "stampede" on crime scenes.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the participants: he reminded them of the missile strike on Vinnytsia calling it an act of Russian terror.

It should be noted that neither Ukraine nor Russia is a member of the I.C.C.; however, the Parliament of Ukraine granted the court jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory.

Earlier, The Page wrote that it would be hard to bring Russia and Putin to justice because there has never been any prosecution of a sitting president in the Court’s practice.

Responding to these difficulties, the Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said that the Netherlands was considering setting up an ad hoc international Ukraine war crimes tribunal.

Russian delegates are not welcome in Bali

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Russian economists are responsible for Russia’s crimes in Ukraine no less than the generals.

These words Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland addressed the Russian delegation at the opening of the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Bali, Indonesia, The Guardian wrote.

Quote"It is not only generals who commit war crimes, it is the economic technocrats who allow the war to happen and to continue," she pointed out.

Freeland wasn’t the only one who protested the Russians’ presence at the summit: a day before, U.S. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen called the Russian invasion of Ukraine the greatest challenge to the global economy.

She stressed that members of Putin’s government have no place at the talks. Yellen was expected to push for a price cap on Russian oil to cut Moscow’s revenues used to proceed with the war.

Draghi resigned but wasn’t let go

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Boris Johnson wasn’t the only European Prime Minister to resign over losing the confidence of his party: on Thursday, July 14, the head of the Italian cabinet Mario Draghi announced his resignation, CNN reported.

The reason was the loss of support by the largest party in the parliamentary coalition, the Five Star Movement.

Draghi made this decision after a vote over the €23 billion package of economic aid for Italians proposed by the government. Even though the package was eventually approved by the parliament, Draghi said that the national unity government could not function without support from the coalition.

However, Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected the Prime Minister’s resignation. Instead, Draghi was proposed to address the Senate and describe the situation that has arisen as a result of the last vote. Draghi is expected to appear before the parliament next Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio supported the president's decision and described the actions of the Five Star movement as irresponsible. Di Maio left the party in June over its reluctance to provide military aid to Ukraine.

Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the only opposition party in the Senate Brothers of Italy, on her part, called for immediate elections, even though they are already scheduled to be held quite soon, in early 2023.

The U.S. seeks to restore its influence in the Middle East

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. President Joe Biden came to Bethlehem to meet the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, BBC wrote.

This was a momentous meeting, being the first highest-level talks after relations between the U.S. and Palestine deteriorated under former President Donald Trump.

The Palestinians expect the U.S. to reopen the Jerusalem consulate, which was closed in 2019.

Biden said that he supported the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, he recognized that there is currently no premise for it on both sides.

Thereafter, Biden went to Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman and his son Mohammed bin Salman, who is the de facto ruler of the country.

Two years ago, Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah" for the murder of Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, a journalist killed at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Although this meeting faced criticism in the Democratic party, Biden defended his visit, saying that his position on Khashoggi remained unchanged.

Biden’s tour over the Middle East, where he also met the leaders of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan, was aimed at restoring the influence of the U.S. in the region.

Another reason for the visit to Saudi Arabia was the increase in oil prices caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Canada weakened sanctions against Russia

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The Canadian government issued a time-limited permit to return a repaired Russian turbine to Germany needed to launch the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline despite the sanctions imposed on Russia, The Guardian wrote.

The Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson explained that the decision was the result of discussions with European allies, as well as the International Energy Agency.

Germany insisted on the return of the turbine, which was serviced by Siemens Energy in Canada, after Russia had cut the gas supply over Nord Stream 1 by 60%.

The head of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alexandra Chyczij expressed deep disappointment over the Canadian government’s decision to bow to Russian blackmail.

She pointed out that the country was setting a dangerous precedent that would lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia. However, the permit issued by the government is revocable.


Context.

  • Previously, we wrote that Canada imposed new sanctions on Russian oligarchs and banned the export of luxury goods to Russia.
  • We also analyzed how the relations between Ukraine and the U.K. would change after the resignation of Boris Johnson.
  • Moreover, The Page reported that the West would build silos on Ukraine’s border to help unblock grain exports.
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