Record of Russian damage against Ukraine to be created says Duda

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda has announced that a record of damage caused to Ukraine by Russia's aggression will be created under the auspices of the Council of Europe.

Duda made the announcement on Tuesday in Reykjavik at the opening session of a two-day Council of Europe summit on human rights and security challenges including Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Duda spoke about the declaration to be adopted during the summit, which, he said, would confirm the joint responsibility and determination to support Ukraine as long as possible.

"Equally important will be the creation of a record of damage caused to Ukraine by Russian aggression. This is an important step to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes committed in Ukraine. Crimes must be accounted for. Redressing the victims and their relatives is crucial. But it is also a precondition for peace and stability in the future." he said.

The Polish president added that the Council of Europe was established after overcoming the horrors of World War II, and its goal was to protect such values as the freedom of citizens, human life, the rule of law and democracy.

"Unfortunately, the summit in Reykjavik is taking place during the greatest attack on democratic values since the fall of totalitarian regimes on the Old Continent," Duda said.

According to him, by invading Ukraine, Russia, a member of the Council of Europe only a year ago, not only wants to destroy the country, but also to revise all the values this organisation is based on.

"We must not submit to it; we must be even stronger and more united," Duda said.

He warned that the Russian President Vladimir Putin's plan includes "the construction of a different order, based on values contrary to our own. In such a world, democracy becomes an empty concept, pure power is all that matters, and human rights are just a facade, because any citizen can be sentenced to decades in a penal colony or lose their life for any reason."