Ukrainian War-Damages Registry Approved at Reykjavík Summit

Reykjavík Summit 2023

During the Reykjavík Summit of the Council of Europe this morning, European leaders signed an agreement to establish a “Register of Damage” for the war in Ukraine. PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir has stated that it is important that Russia is held to account for its war of aggression in Ukraine, Mbl.is reports.

43 countries already signed the agreement

This morning, European leaders approved a so-called “Register of Damage” at the Reykjavík Summit of the European Council. As noted by Mbl.is, it is assumed that the registry, designed to hold Moscow to account, will be operational for three years, recording data and claims due to damages and losses incurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mbl.is reports that a total of 43 countries, alongside the European Union, have already signed, or announced their intention to sign, an agreement to the establishment of the registry. Several countries have, however, dropped out: among them Turkey and Hungary – both of whom are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Armenia, Azerbaijan, Serbia, and Bosnia have announced plans to refrain from signing the agreement.

Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the European Council, was quoted by Deutsche Welle (DW) as stating that the creation of the registry was “a first, necessary, urgent step” ensuring “justice that is centred on the victims” of the war.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir stated that support and solidarity with Ukraine had been a priority during Iceland’s presidency of the Council of Europe and that it was important that the outcome of the summit in Reykjavík was that Russia was held responsible for its attack in Ukraine in a broad way. The Council of Europe should play an important role in this regard.

Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, was also present at the signing of the agreement; the Council of Europe’s Register of Damage will be based in the Hague and will also operate a branch in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal welcomed the registry: “We are grateful to the Council of Europe and all the participating countries for providing such support from the highest level of government. We invite other countries from all over the world to join the registry to express their support for the importance of Russian responsibility for its war against Ukraine,” Mbl.is notes.

As noted by DW, the United States, who attended the summit as an observer; Canada; and Japan have also voiced their support for the creation of the register.