UAE mediation sees Russia, Ukraine exchange prisoners

Since early this year, the UAE successfully mediated four Russia-Ukraine war captive exchanges and facilitated a US-Russia prisoner exchange in December 2022….reports Asian Lite News

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the success of mediation efforts by the UAE regarding the exchange of war captives between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Ukraine to release 180 captives.

The Ministry emphasised that the success of the new mediation, which is the fifth since the beginning of this year, is the outcome of the UAE leveraging its distinct ties and partnership with both sides, including as a reliable mediator among both parties.

The Ministry expressed its appreciation to the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Ukraine for their cooperation to make the exchange process a success.

The Ministry also affirmed the UAE’s commitment to continuing efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict, stressing the importance of resorting to dialogue, de-escalation, and diplomacy, as the only ways to resolve the conflict, and mitigating the humanitarian repercussions resulting from the crisis.

Notably, the UAE’s mediation efforts succeeded since the beginning of this year in completing four exchanges of war captives between Russia and Ukraine, in addition to a successful exchange of two prisoners between the United States and the Russian Federation in December 2022.

The UAE recently condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in the Republic of Dagestan in Russia, which resulted in the deaths and injuries of security personnel and innocent civilians.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) affirmed that the UAE expresses its strong condemnation of these criminal acts and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at undermining security and stability in contravention of international law.

The UAE furthermore condemned hate speech and racism which lead to the spread and exacerbation of conflicts, stressing the need to spread the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence and avoid practices that lead to fuelling strife and chaos.

Oman, Russia hold talks session

The Sultanate of Oman and the Russian Federation yesterday held a session of political talks in Moscow.

According to the Oman News Agency, the session highlighted bilateral relations, mutual visits and the participation in events held in both countries, namely the latest participation of Oman as a main guest in the St. Petersburg International Forum.

During the session, the Omani side was headed by Sheikh Khalifa Ali Al Harthy, Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Political Affairs, while the Russian side was headed by Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Middle East and Africa.

Further, the two sides exchanged views on several regional and international issues, notably the Israeli war on the Gaza strip and the war in Ukraine.

During this meeting, the two sides reviewed areas of mutual cooperation in various field.

ICC warrants against Gerasimov, Shoigu

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for former Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and the current Chief of Staff of Armed forces, Valery Gerasimov, for alleged international crimes, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, according to CNN.

The two are accused of two war crimes, according to the court, which are targeting civilian targets and intentionally causing significant incidental harm or damage to civilian property.

They are charged with crimes against humanity as well.

However, the Russian state media outlet TASS referred to the ICC ruling as “null and void.” Presently, Shoigu leads the Security Council of Russia.

“It is meaningless, as the ICC’s jurisdiction does not extend to Russia, and [the decision] was made within the framework of the West’s hybrid war against our country,” TASS quoted the body as saying.

On Tuesday, officials from Ukraine greeted the news with enthusiasm. According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the ruling demonstrates that “no cabinet door or military rank can shield Russian criminals from accountability.”

Dmytro Lubinets, the nation’s human rights ombudsman, stated that Ukraine was one step closer to receiving justice as a result of the ICC ruling.

The chief of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, stated that Gerasimov and Shoigu were being held “individually responsible.

“This is an important decision. Everyone will be held accountable for evil,” he said in a statement.

Shoigu and Gerasimov are now on the ICC’s wanted list as a result of the arrest warrants; however, it’s unclear if they will ever go to trial. Trials are not held in absentia by the court, and Moscow is not likely to turn them up, CNN reported.

The ICC has previously issued arrest warrants for Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova and President Vladimir Putin for an alleged conspiracy to deport Ukrainian children to Russia. With the issuance of these two warrants, the total number of top Russian officials wanted for war crimes has increased to four.

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