Canada and its partners invoke the OSCE Moscow Mechanism to address Russia’s possible war crimes in Ukraine


The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on Canada’s initiative at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to establish a mission of experts to address the human rights and humanitarian impacts of Russia’s invasion and acts of war against the people of Ukraine:

“Canada, and indeed the world, are witnessing the horrific impacts of President Putin’s unjustifiable and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s aggression is violating not only the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, but also the security and safety of those who call it home.

“In response to President Putin’s tyrannical decision to invade Ukraine and commit deplorable acts that have taken hundreds of innocent civilian lives, including children, and placed countless others in jeopardy, Canada and 44 participating states have invoked the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism.

“With Ukraine’s support, a mission of experts will be convened to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding Russia’s possible contraventions of its OSCE commitments and its violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“The steps taken today build on Canada’s determination to hold President Putin accountable, including referring the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court.

“Canada is unwavering in its support of Ukraine and its brave and resilient people. We will continue, in lockstep with our allies, to use all available tools to hold President Putin accountable for his egregious actions.”

Quick Facts

  • The Moscow Mechanism was adopted in 1991. It complements and strengthens the Vienna Mechanism.
  • The Moscow Mechanism provides the option of sending missions of experts to assist participating States in the resolution of a particular question or problem relating to the human dimension.


Maéva Proteau
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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