Tuesday’s speech by the Latvian President Egils Levits urged Europe to show political will and bring Russia to justice for its crimes. Plenary session
In a formal address to Strasbourg’s European Parliament, Levits reiterated Parliament’s call to create a special tribunal to investigate Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. He stated that “none of us wants to live in a world of aggressive war” and urged the international community to “find political will” to establish a tribunal to address the demand of the Parliament to create a special tribunal to investigate Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
He criticized Europe for its “enormous mistake” and naivety in moving towards dependence on Russian energy sources, despite our warnings.
President Levits supported the request of MEPs for Europe for frozen Russian assets to be used for reconstruction of Ukraine. This included not only the assets of the oligarchs who are close to the regime, but also those of the Central Bank of Russia. It is legally possible, even though it may seem complicated. He said that political will is all that is required.
Ukraine is part of Europe
Referring to the promise made by EP President Metsola to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy last week, President Levits requested that Ukraine be granted a European future. “This historic decision is one that we may have only one chance at making. Ukrainians have made their decision. It is now our turn.
Protecting the rule of law in Europe
The President of Latvia also demanded a “political solution to the challenges to Europe’s rule of law posed by “populist arguments about people’s will”.
He said that the current developments could lead to the “weakening, or even complete loss of democracy itself”.
He stressed that while Europe is strong because of its diversity in culture, language, and national identity, the principles of the rule law must be universal.
On 8 July 2019, Levits was elected the tenth President of Latvia. He was previously Latvia’s Minister of Justice, and served as the Latvian Ambassador to Switzerland, Austria, and Hungary. From 2004 to 2019, Mr Levits served as the Latvian ambassador to Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, and Switzerland. He is the author of the preamble for Latvia’s Constitu.
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