The minister honestly answered whether Ukraine will be able to receive compensation from Russia for environmental damage

The minister honestly answered whether Ukraine will be able to receive compensation from Russia for environmental damage

Katerina Belousova

Currently, the estimated losses already reach more than $51 billion

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Ruslan Strilets, said that recording and calculating damages from every Russian crime against the environment is necessary for the preparation of high-quality materials for the International Criminal Court.

In an interview for the Voice of America, he stated that he is sure that the norms of international law are currently sufficient for Ukraine to receive reparations for ecocrimes.

"Our main goal is to build work with our international partners and courts in such a way as to collect these reparations much faster than it happened before," said Strilets, explaining that in the case of Kuwait's claim against Iraq, the damages were compensated after 15 years.

The minister emphasized that it is important to prove the correctness of these calculations. For this, the Ministry of Environment cooperates with the Office of the Prosecutor General. In addition, after the opening of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in Ukraine, the institution can help make several pilot lawsuits to understand the challenges.

He said that currently 2,300 ecocrimes of the Russian Federation have been recorded and calculated. In addition, some cases are still being processed. Currently, the estimated losses already reach more than $51 billion.

" Today, our environmental inspection works 24/7, even risking their own lives, trying to record every crime. Concerned citizens who are close to the territories where hostilities are taking place can join this process today," the minister said.

The shooter said that at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Ministry of Environment launched the "EkoZagroza" mobile application, which allows ordinary people to record environmental crimes.

He emphasized that one of the first challenges of the department's work was damage assessment. After all, peacetime methods are not suitable for wartime. In a few months, 8 relevant methods were developed with the help of experts, in particular from the US State Department.

Strilets noted that it is necessary to increase the cost of damages, because currently there is no such thing as ecosystem services in Ukrainian legislation. That is, these are the benefits that a person receives from this or that part of the ecosystem.

"This approach works in many European countries and the USA. Therefore, I am sure that we will be able to prepare the legislation for these changes. This, in turn, will make it possible to calculate more losses," he said.

Among the biggest challenges for Ukraine, Strelets named mined territories. According to experts, this indicator reaches 25-30% of the area, which makes the country the most mined in the world. Demining will help not only farmers, but also conduct analyzes to assess soil contamination.

He emphasized that although air suffered the greatest damage in monetary terms, the ecosystem knows no boundaries and one component cannot be isolated from another.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strelets said that Ukraine has appealed to international environmental conventions to recognize Russia's actions in the occupied protected areas of the Kherson region as illegal.

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