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Foreign Ministry: ICJ decision 'leaves no doubt Russia is in violation of international law'

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 1, 2024 2:36 PM 2 min read
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivers its final judgment in the case against Russia in The Hague, the Netherlands on Jan. 31, 2024. (Selman Aksunger/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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The decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Jan. 31 that found Russia guilty of financing terrorism through its support of proxies in Ukraine's Donbas region is the "first time in its history that the (ICJ) has reached a final judgment on Russia’s violations of international law," Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said on Feb. 1.

The ICJ decision on Jan. 31 stemmed from a case brought by Ukraine in 2017, which has taken seven years to conclude. The case originated from Ukraine's argument that Russia had financed terrorism during the conflict in Donbas.

It did not include alleged violations of international law that occurred after the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022.  

The court also ruled in Ukraine's favor that Russia implemented a discriminatory education system in Crimea "with regard to school education in the Ukrainian language" and has not complied "with its duty to protect the rights of ethnic Ukrainians."

At the same time, the court declined to hold Russia responsible for the downing of MH17, which killed 298 people, the majority of whom were Dutch citizens.

It also refrained from ordering Russia to pay reparations.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry nonetheless declared that the "judgment of the (ICJ) leaves no doubt that the Russian Federation is in violation of international law."

"Ukraine remains committed to pursuing justice and accountability for all of Russia’s illegal acts, including the full-scale invasion Russia launched in 2022," the ministry concluded.

ICJ rejects key parts of Ukraine’s 2017 case against Russia
Chief among the claims was a request to declare Russia responsible for the downing of MH17 in 2014, which killed 298 people, the majority of whom were Dutch citizens.
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