“I think Putin should be tried as a war criminal,” Solberg told NTB.
The debate over which label should be given to Putin came after US President Joe Biden declared on Wednesday that Putin was a war criminal. The Kremlin reacted by condemning the statement as unacceptable and inexcusable.
When Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) was confronted with Biden’s remarks the next day, he replied that he did not want to share such a label now. This is a stance that Solberg supports.
– Finding out that someone is a criminal, you do it after the verdict is handed down. But he should be tried for it, and those in Russia responsible for the attack should be tried for it, Solberg said.
He believes it is clear that attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine violate the rules of war.
– We don’t find that anyone has violated international law until they are punished for it, Solberg stated.
– But everything shows that, and he should be tried as a war criminal.
Opinions are shared among the other parties in Storting.
Left-wing leader Guri Melby is unquestionable.
– Putin is a murderer and war criminal. This was a deliberate attack on civilian targets, he told NTB.
He believed Støre had to be able to justify himself why he would not use such words.
– It’s also a war about what’s real. I believe that words should have their own meaning, and that war crimes are just that. Even when war criminals have control of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
KrF leader Olaug Bollestad is also among those who now choose to label Putin a war criminal.
– We should call spades spades. There are 3 million people on the run here. There are thousands of children crossing the border every day, he said.
FRP leader Sylvi Listhaug is also unquestionable.
– I think the American president is telling the truth, he said.
Lysbakken understands Støre
SV party leader Audun Lysbakken, on the other hand, was more cautious.
– Amnesty has documented violations of international humanitarian law by Russian troops in Ukraine. This could constitute a war crime, said Lysbakken.
– The fact that the Prime Minister is waiting to declare him a war criminal until the lawyers determine this, I still understand. After all, Putin has a political and moral responsibility for the many people killed, the unimaginably great suffering and the incredible devastation, he said.
According to Lysbakken, it is now imperative that violations of international law and war crimes are documented, so that those responsible can be brought to justice.
Pointing to The Hague
Støre himself defended the decision to give up the war criminal label.
“The range of names we can now begin to give to those responsible for this war is long,” Støre told NTB.
According to him, there is no doubt that what is happening in Ukraine today is a violation of international law.
– There are clear signs that there are also war crimes when attacking civilian targets who are unable to protect themselves, and are even aware that they are civilian targets. The political and military leaders are responsible for it, they are responsible for war crimes, Støre said.
– But being convicted of a war criminal often happens through the -Hague Court or other courts. Then you can draw conclusions from that, he continued.
– Does Putin belong in The Hague?
– I hope wars like this also have legal repercussions, said Støre.
– But what is important now is that the military aggression stops, there is a negotiated solution, and the vulnerable people come out.
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