Smith Meets with Prime Minister

In a high-level meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal today, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) raised the need to indict and prosecute Vladimir Putin for war crimes now.

At the meeting, Smith, the Congressman who is leading efforts in Congress to push for Putin’s indictment and prosecution, proposed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly as one of the most viable venues for a timely trial. He pointed out that both Russia and China would veto the creation of a tribunal in the UN Security Council; however, they have no veto power in the General Assembly.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister told Smith he would “absolutely support such a move by the General Assembly.”

Smith added that another high priority to resolving the dire humanitarian situation currently unfolding, is putting an end to the escalating risk of human trafficking.

“The trafficking of innocent Ukrainians—most of whom are women and children—as they seek shelter after being forced out of their homes is an affront to humanity that must end now,” he said. The Congressman has authored five laws to combat human trafficking, including the United States’ historic Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

“Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and others responsible for unleashing the massive death and destruction against innocent Ukrainians must be indicted and prosecuted immediately for their egregious war crimes,” he said. Smith also chaired the first hearing in the House of Representatives to hold Putin accountable for his actions

Smith noted more than seven million Ukrainians have crossed into neighboring countries fleeing the aggression, which is targeting civilians and non-military infra structures, including schools hospitals and residential buildings.

Prime Minister Shmyhal told Smith that Ukraine would stand in solidarity with efforts to prevent trafficking and protect victims from perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Smith, a strong supporter of those on the frontlines defending freedom against tyranny, voted to provide Ukraine with critical military assistance and ban U.S. imports of Russian oil in the wake of Putin’s attack on the neighboring country.


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