Attorney General Merrick Garland traveled to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to discuss U.S. efforts to help Ukraine identify, apprehend, and prosecute individuals connected to war crimes in Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to the Justice Department.
“I am here to express the unwavering support of the United States for the people of Ukraine in the midst of the unprovoked and unjust Russian invasion,” Garland told the press in attendance, adding he and Venediktova were gathering to continue discussions on war crimes in Ukraine.
“The United States is sending an unmistakable message. There is no place to hide. We and our partners will pursue every avenue available to make sure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable,” said the Attorney General.
The previously unannounced meeting between the two chief law enforcement officers comes after Garland has been outspoken about the U.S.’s role in investigating potential war crimes in Ukraine.
“This Department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes,” he told the press earlier this year. “We are assisting international efforts to identify and hold accountable those responsible for atrocities in Ukraine. And we will continue to do so.’
Earlier this month, Garland met with European Union Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Affairs Didier Reynders in Washington, D.C. The two talked about how to best support ongoing war crimes investigations related to Russian aggression toward Ukraine.