Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

ICJ to hear case concerning invasion of Ukraine

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The International Court of justice headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Agence France-Presse

The highest court of the UN considered itself competent on Friday to judge a case brought by Ukraine against Moscow over the 2022 invasion, which Russian President Vladimir Putin had justified by accusing Kiev of carrying out “genocide”.

Ukraine brought the case against Russia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) , which sits in The Hague, just a few days after the start of the invasion.

When launching the military operation on February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin partly justified it with accusations of genocide orchestrated by Kiev in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. .

Kiev took the matter to the ICJ, categorically denying this assertion and arguing that Russia's use of this reason was for its own sake. against the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.

In a preliminary ruling issued in March 2022, the ICJ sided with Ukraine and called on Russia to immediately end its invasion.

But Russia opposed this judgment, asserting that the ICJ, which decides disputes between states, had no legitimacy to judge the case.

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The ICJ rejected Moscow's argument on Friday, saying it had jurisdiction to rule on the issue.

However, Ukraine also said in its petition that the Russian invasion itself constituted a violation of the Genocide Convention. The ICJ declared that it did not have jurisdiction to rule on this part of the case.

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Ukraine has been trying to repel the Russian invasion for almost two years.

The court also said it did not have the authority to rule on another point raised by Kiev: that Moscow's recognition of the breakaway regions of Lugansk and Donetsk violated the convention.< /p>

Ukraine's lead lawyer, Anton Korynevych, said the ICJ ruling was a victory for his country, as the Hague court will now examine the case on its merits. /p>

It is important that the Court decides on the question that Ukraine is not responsible for an alleged genocide since 2014 in Donbass, as the Russian Federation falsely claims.

A quote from Anton Korynevych, senior prosecutor of Ukraine

ICJ judgments are binding and cannot be subject to #x27;an appeal, but she has no means of enforcing her decisions.

The court noted that she had already in March 2022 called on Russia to immediately suspend its military operations, but that the armed conflict continues to this day.

Every day of Russia's brutal war in Ukraine constitutes a violation of this ICJ order, which remains valid as long as the case continues, Korynevych said.

More than 30 other countries – all Western allies of Ukraine – have supported Kiev in this matter. /p>

This is the second major case brought before the ICJ regarding the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The Court ruled Wednesday in a separate case filed by Kiev that Russia financially supported separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine for years before the invasion.

The court rejected most of Kiev's requests, but ruled that Moscow had failed to investigate possible violations of the international financing convention of terrorism.

The ICJ was at the center of attention last week over a high-profile case on the war in Gaza. She called on Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent possible genocide during its military operations in response to the Hamas attack on October 7.

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