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Ukraine calls for accountability in ICJ hearings on Russian treaty violations

by Anastasiia Malenko June 7, 2023 8:07 AM 2 min read
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Ukraine alleged that Russia violated treaties against terrorism financing and racial discrimination during the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russian-fueled conflict in eastern Ukraine starting in 2014 at the International Court of Justice.

Ukraine presented the first round of oral arguments during the June 6 hearing in front of the UN court in The Hague.

Kyiv’s representative at the hearing, Anton Korynevych, referenced the very first oral hearing for the case in 2017, saying “Ukraine was right to sound the alarm,” as evidenced by Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Korynevych emphasized two main claims in the case. He addressed the cultural erasure campaign against ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, which started with illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Then, he touched upon the “Russian-fueled campaign of intimidation and terror” in Donbas, including Russia's provision of weapons used in attacks on civilian areas.

Ukrainian side argues that these Russian actions violated the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT).

Ukrainian lawyers have worked on a case for six years since Ukraine filed an application to instituting proceedings on Jan. 16, 2017.

“This is the first Ukraine v. Russian Federation case that reached the merits hearing in the international courts,” Korynevych said in a comment to Ukrinform news outlet. “This is truly very important and today we established a very good start.”

The public hearings in the case will last until June 14, with Russia presenting the first round of oral arguments on June 8.

Zelensky: We all want to see Putin in the Hague
During a speech at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on May 4, President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed confidence that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin would be made to face justice for war crimes committed against Ukraine.
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