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Online seminar for academia and think tanks on the Moscow Mechanism report on Russia’s crimes in Ukraine

Over 70 selected experts from academia and think tanks of OSCE participating States attended today the online seminar “The OSCE Moscow Mechanism: Accountability for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine”. The event aimed to present the key findings of the Moscow Mechanism report published in April 2022 and to foster a high-level expert discussion on the contribution of the report and of the OSCE to ongoing international efforts to ensure accountability for the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The OSCE Moscow Mechanism report is the first independent report under the aegis of an International Organisation to document clear patterns of violations of international humanitarian law by the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine and violations of most fundamental human rights, which are likely to qualify as crimes against humanity.

The online seminar for academia and thinks tanks was organised with the support of the Italian Permanent Representation to the OSCE, in collaboration with Ukraine and the 45 OSCE participating States who invoked the Moscow Mechanism. The event was chaired by Ambassador of Malta to Austria, H.E. Natasha Meli Daudey, with the interventions of ODIHR First Deputy Director, Kateryna Ryabiko and of two members of the mission of experts established under the Moscow Mechanism: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Benedek and Prof. Marco Sassòli.

The Moscow Mechanism is one of the tools available to OSCE participating States to monitor the implementation of commitments undertaken in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (the human dimension). It was agreed upon by all participating States at the last meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension in Moscow in 1991 and it provides for the possibility to establish ad hoc missions of independent experts to assist in the resolution of a specific human dimension problem – either on their own territory or in other OSCE participating States. To date, the Moscow Mechanism has been invoked eleven times.

The 45 OSCE participating States that invoked, in cooperation with Ukraine, the Moscow Mechanism in March 2022 are: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

On 2 June 2022, following consultation with Ukraine, the same 45 OSCE participating States submitted a new invocation of the Moscow Mechanism in order to consider, follow up and build upon the findings of the Moscow Mechanism report published in April 2022. A new report is expected in July 2022.