U.S. Pledges To Hold Russia To Account For 'Unconscionable Abuses' In Ukraine

U.S. Pledges To Hold Russia To Account For 'Unconscionable Abuses' In Ukraine

The United States on Thursday pledged to continue to hold Russia accountable for its "unconscionable abuses", as the State Department's Spokesperson Matthew Miller put it, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"We continue to hold Russia accountable at all levels, in multiple fora, and I don’t think you should look at actions in just one as the totality of our engagement," Miller told a daily briefing when responding to TURAN's questions on the latest measures taken by the Western allies against the Kremlin.

Specifically, Miller was referring to the latest OSCE Moscow Mechanism which was invoked on Thursday by 44 countries, including the U.S., to establish a mission of experts to examine allegations of the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Ukrainian civilians by Russia in those parts of Ukraine’s territory temporarily controlled or occupied by Russia.

"This mission of experts will look into facts and circumstances surrounding such detentions and associated abuses to consider whether they constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, violate international humanitarian law and/or international human rights law, or contravene relevant OSCE commitments," the State Department said in a release.

The experts also will compile information for relevant accountability mechanisms as well as national, regional, or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction.

"We urge relevant authorities in both Ukraine and Russia to cooperate fully with the expert mission and facilitate its work. The United States and our Allies and partners remain steadfastly committed to supporting Ukraine and holding the Russian Federation to account for its unconscionable abuses," the State Department said.

Separately, on Thursday the State Department-supported Conflict Observatory program issued a new report documenting Russia’s targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure outside the front lines.

When asked by TURAN if the Kremlin would be held accountable for its well-documented crimes, Milled  said, there have been "a number of actions" over the two years since this war began. "When it comes to imposing sanctions on Russia, imposing exports on Russia to try and dry up the fuel for the Russian economy and the Russian military machine, and you have most significantly seen us hold Russia accountable by providing security assistance to Ukraine to defend itself and repel the Russian aggression from its borders," he said.

The spokesperson concluded:  "And it’s why we continue to say that the most effective step that can be taken to hold Russia accountable would be for Congress to pass the present supplemental request to make sure that Ukraine continues to get what it needs to hold Russia accountable."

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