U.S. Attorney General (AG) Merrick B. Garland hosted Ukrainian Prosecutor General (PG) Andriy Kostin at the Justice Department today. The two leaders discussed efforts to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes and other atrocities and the importance of strong, independent anti-corruption institutions.
“The Justice Department and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office are united in our resolve that the Russian perpetrators of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Ukraine will not get away with them,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “And the Justice Department will continue to stand beside our Ukrainian partners as they work to ensure the continuity of a justice system the Ukrainian people can believe in.”
The meeting highlighted the important progress that the Department’s War Crimes Accountability Team, in partnership with PG Kostin’s Office, continues to make in its domestic investigations. The team also continues its support for Ukraine accountability efforts by providing Ukrainian prosecutors with operational assistance and advice including, recent training on environmental crimes and cooperation on victim witness issues. The AG also noted that earlier this month, the Department’s War Crimes Accountability Team made its second set of contributions of Ukraine-related evidence to Eurojust’s Core International Crimes Evidence Database.
The AG and PG also discussed the work of the newly appointed U.S. Special Prosecutor for the Crime of Aggression at the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine at The Hague as well as the work of the Department’s Resident Legal Advisor in Kyiv, Ukraine. After reaffirming their commitment to these important efforts, the leaders identified areas for strengthened law enforcement cooperation, including efforts against cybercrime, organized crime, and community prosecution.
AG Garland reiterated the Department’s commitment to work with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) to support and strengthen efforts to target high-level corruption, through the Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) Resident Legal Advisor in Kyiv.
The PG and Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova then presented Attorney General Garland with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise award that President Zelenskyy authorized for the Attorney General’s steadfast support to Ukraine.
Also at the meeting was the Justice Department’s Counselor for War Crimes Accountability, Eli Rosenbaum, who accepted the order of merit award presented by PG Kostin and authorized by President Zelenskyy.
Attorney General Garland also reaffirmed the Department’s continued commitment to seizing and forfeiting illicit assets through the Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture and efforts of preventing and disrupting critical technology from being acquired by the Russian war machine.
PG Kostin updated the AG on anticorruption efforts as well as the importance of efforts to recover and seek justice for Ukrainian children kidnapped and forcibly deported by Russia and the gravity of Russian war crimes against Ukrainian children and adults.