The European Union will try to set up a specialized court that would investigate and prosecute alleged crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.
"Russia must pay for its horrific crimes, including for its crime of aggression against a sovereign state. And this is why while continuing to support the International Criminal Court (ICC), we are proposing to set up a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia's crime of aggression," von der Leyen said in a video message.
"We are ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialized court," she said.
"Russia must also pay financially for the devastation it has caused," she said, "and we have the means to make Russia pay."
The damage suffered by Ukraine is estimated at 600 billion euros, von der Leyen said. "Russia and its oligarchs have to compensate Ukraine for the damage and cover the cost for rebuilding the country," she said.
The EU has blocked 300 billion euros of the Russian Central Bank reserves and frozen 19 billion euros of Russian oligarchs' money, von der Leyen said.
"In the short term, we could create with our partners a structure to manage these funds and invest them. We would then use the proceeds for Ukraine. And once the sanctions are lifted, these funds should be used so that Russia pays full compensation for the damages caused to Ukraine," she said.
"We will work on an international agreement with our partners to make this possible. And together we can find legal ways to get to it," she said.
"Russia's horrific crimes will not go unpunished," von der Leyen added.
Later on Wednesday, the European Commission said the video included an inaccurate number of Ukrainian deaths.
"The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia‘s brutality," according to spokesperson Dana Spinant.
Spinant said the initial video was replaced with a new version.
"Many thanks to those who pointed out the inaccuracy regarding the figures in a previous version of this video," Spinant tweeted.