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Finland joins core group dedicated to holding Russian leaders accountable for aggression against Ukraine

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 3.2.2023 12.55
Press release

On 2 February 2023, Finland joined a core group set up to support Ukraine in achieving accountability for Russia’s crime of aggression against Ukraine. Altogether 19 states and the European External Action Service have joined the group in addition to Finland and Ukraine.

Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of the prohibition of the use of force laid down in the UN Charter. The UN General Assembly has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanded that Russia cease all military action and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

Supporting and strengthening the rules-based international order is one of Finland’s foreign policy priorities. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of the UN Charter, highlighting the importance of defending international law.

War crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crime of aggression constitute the most serious international crimes. They affect the international community as a whole and threaten international peace and security.  War crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine are being investigated in Ukraine and internationally. Finland supports both the International Criminal Court and the national authorities in Ukraine in their work.

“Accountability for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and its consequences will remain incomplete unless the crime of aggression is addressed. Finland wants to help Ukraine find the most effective ways of holding the perpetrators of the crime of aggression to account,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto says.

A crime of aggression means an act of aggression that constitutes a manifest violation of the UN Charter. Only a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a state can be guilty of a crime of aggression.

Finland’s established position is that a crime of aggression is among the most serious international crimes. Finland is one of the 44 States that have ratified the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression.


  • Juha Rainne, Director, Unit for Public International Law, tel. +358 295 350 639
  • Elina Lemmetty, Counsellor, Unit for Public International Law, tel. +358 295 350 198
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].