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The Register of Damages starts working, what are the next steps?

Thursday, 18 May 2023, 11:45

At the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe held in Reykjavík, 44 countries and the EU signed the Agreement on the Register of Damages Caused by Russian Aggression. This is the first and most significant result of the joint actions of the countries of Europe and the world in the matter of bringing the Russian Federation to responsibility and inevitable compensations. And this is the achievement of the global team led by the Ministry of Justice, which has been fighting for a decision since December 2022 after the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution (November 14, 2022) on the creation of a mechanism to compensate Ukraine for the losses caused by the war, which was unleashed and is still being waged by Russia against Ukraine.

That is, the first stage in the creation of a global compensation mechanism for all victims of the war and the implementation of the resolution of the UN General Assembly ended with the Agreement on the launch of the Register.

The agreement was signed by 44 countries, I will not provide a complete list, it can be found in the mass media. I would like to name those who did not sign: "the country should know who are those "heroes"", and these are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bosnia, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey. Yes, the "friends of Putin" camp still has supporters. But, the Register is open for new members to join, so maybe they will change their minds.


The signing of the Treaty in Reykjavík was preceded by the titanic work. We managed to obtain the decision of the Committee of Ministers dated 15.09.2022 and 24.02.2023 regarding full compensation for damages caused by violations of international law by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. Then we managed to get the resolution of the UN General Assembly dated November 14, 2022, which recognizes the need to create an International Compensation Mechanism. Next - PACE Resolution. And finally, the decision of April 19, 2023, by which the Committee of Ministers authorized the creation of a Register of Damages in the form of an Extended Partial Agreement within the framework of the Council of Europe.

What we should know about the Register:

  • This is a platform for intergovernmental cooperation that operates within the institutional framework of the Council of Europe. The Registry is a legal entity in accordance with the national legislation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Ukraine and is physically located in the Netherlands;
  • Receives and processes information about claims for damages and evidence;
  • The first component of the future International Compensation Mechanism, which will be created by a separate international agreement in cooperation with Ukraine; Next, the Claims Review Commission and the Compensation Fund will be established;
  • Any member state or observer of the Council of Europe and the European Union, as well as any other state that voted for the resolution of the UN General Assembly (November 14, 2022) can join the Register.

So, the Register was created. What's next?

Active preparatory work is already underway with Dutch partners for the quick launch of the Register. The premises in The Hague where the Registry will be located have already been found, and a powerful security and protection system is being discussed. The selection of qualified personnel, the formation of the management bodies of the legal entity of the owner of this register, the selection of IT solutions for the maximum digitalization of the Register, the purchase of IT equipment, the development of rules and procedures both for the work of the register itself, and the application forms that will be required to be submitted to all victims of the war – citizens of Ukraine, business or the state entities – in the Register.

The next stage is the creation of the Commission, which, on the basis of data from the Register, will award sums to be paid to the victims, and the source of such payments should primarily be Russian assets. And today, together with the partners who joined and are joining the Treaty on the Creation of the Register, we are working out the legal foundation for the creation of such a Commission and are developing the basis for the confiscation of Russian assets. After all, the Russian Federation will never agree to voluntarily give up its assets for compensation. So the foundation should be as strong and legitimate as possible.

The Ministry of Justice will continue to coordinate the work of the Register and will inform through the mass media about the implementation of each stage of the Register's work. How to use it and provide information – that's later. Free legal assistance in formulating applications will also be provided to anyone who needs it.

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