ICRC President wants to travel to Moscow

Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, President of the ICRC, speaking during her first public address in this role at the at the Graduate Institute Geneva, on November 28, 2022 © Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

The president of the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, says it is important to talk to all parties in the Ukraine war – including Russia.

This content was published on January 1, 2023 minutes
Keystone-SDA/NZZ am Sonntag/ICRC/ilj

"I will travel to Moscow," Spoljaric Egger told the NZZ am SonntagExternal link. The date has however not yet been fixed.

"We are talking to all parties about the need to respect international humanitarian law," Spoljaric Egger said. "This includes access to prisoners of war and civilian prisoners."

The ICRC president added one should not underestimate the strength of international law. As the Geneva Convention has been ratified by all states, it represents the strongest existing international consensus, “even if this is perhaps less visible than the violations: martial law is also respected every day. If it wasn't the case, we couldn't do our job," she explained.

ICRC's work

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Geneva-based body has reached hundreds of prisoners of war on both sides as part of its humanitarian work.

Spoljaric Egger – who took up the ICRC presidency in October 2022, replacing Peter Maurer – herself visited Ukraine for four days in December 2022, where she said she gained “a first-hand view of a devastating humanitarian situation”.

A statementExternal link released at the time said that the ICRC and its partners remained committed to helping those most affected by the international armed conflict in 2023.

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