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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article4 April 2022Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Statement from President Ursula von der Leyen following her phone call with President Zelenskyy on the Commission's reactions to the atrocities in Bucha

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This afternoon I spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the dreadful murders that have been uncovered in Bucha and other areas from which Russian troops have recently left.

I conveyed to him my condolences and assured him of the European Commission's full support in these terrible times. The harrowing images cannot and will not be left unanswered.

The perpetrators of these heinous crimes must not go unpunished.

We agreed to ensure close coordination between us.

The EU has set up a Joint Investigation Team with Ukraine to collect evidence and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity. The EU is ready to reinforce this effort by sending investigation teams on the ground to support the Ukrainian Prosecution Services. Eurojust and Europol are ready to assist.

A global response is necessary. There are ongoing talks between Eurojust and the International Criminal Court to join forces and for the Court to be part of the Joint Investigation Team. Such a coordinated approach from the Ukrainian authorities, the EU, its Member States and agencies, and the International Criminal Court will allow for the evidence to be collected, analysed and processed in the most complete and effective way possible.

I have tasked Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders to follow-up and take contact with the Ukrainian Prosecutor General.

The Commission will provide all the necessary technical and financial support to all EU-led investigations.