Zelenskiy hails European support after proposed register of Ukraine war damage

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has joined more than 40 leaders at the fourth Council of Europe meeting in Iceland

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has hailed the support of European leaders who have proposed a register to record the damage caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has joined more than 40 other leaders, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, at the fourth Council of Europe meeting in Iceland.

The focus of the two-day summit will centre on how to hold Russia to account for its invasion of Ukraine. The Council is aiming to build the outline of a system so Moscow can be held liable for compensation and damages.

Mr Zelenskiy addressed the opening of the summit, and used the opportunity to welcome the proposed register of damages.


“I thank the Council of Europe, each and every one of you personally for the decision of the register of damages caused by Russia.”

He also said there should also be a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

“Russia is trying very hard to improve its ability to kill. We are trying very hard to improve the protection of our people. Altogether we are showing what 100 per cent means, and what the power of the free world means. If we are able to do this, is there anything we can’t do when we are united and determined to save lives. Of course, there is still much to be done,” Mr Zelenskiy said.

The register of damages will be established where all those who have suffered damages and harm due to the invasion of Ukraine can have them recorded and subsequently redressed.

He said the country needs additional air defence systems and missiles, as well as fighter jets. “I am sure we will get there. One hundred per cent should be our bench mark.”

British prime minister Rishi Sunak also addressed the Council of Europe and said the world is “becoming more contested and more volatile. The moment to push back is now.”

He said he wanted to send a message at the meeting that “we will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes” and that Russia will be held accountable.

The Taoiseach, upon arriving, pledged additional funding of €325,000 to the Council of Europe when he met the Council’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

The funding will go towards the European Court of Human Rights, to the Human Rights Trust Fund, to support the Belarus Contact Group engaging with that country’s opposition.

Established in 1949, the Council of Europe is Europe’s oldest multilateral organisation, predating the European Union from which it is entirely separate, having a different function and a significantly broader membership.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times