Ukraine has begun a legal fight

On 6 March the International court of justice United Nations (UN) in the Hague began public hearings on the suit of Ukraine to Russia on combating financing of terrorism and racial discrimination. Recall that Ukraine has appealed to the international court of January 16, asking the court to establish that Russia has violated these conventions for their support of the militants in the Donbas, as well as the illegal occupation of Crimea and the persecution there of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian communities.

“Historic moment: on March 6, Ukraine will present evidence of the crimes of Russia in the International court of justice in the Hague”. “The truth is mightier than the gun!” So the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Facebook reacted to the beginning of consideration of the Ukrainian claim.

Meanwhile, Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko announced the commencement of the hearing: “Ukraine starts legal fight, the international opposition to Russian aggression in the legal field, opposition to the occupation of the Crimea and the Donbass, massive violation of human rights”. “It will be hot and uneasy, and all its false propaganda machine is also prepared and is very reflective on this court,” she wrote on Facebook.

The official representative of Ukraine Elena serkal during his speech said that Russia violated international law and abusing human rights, assisting the illegal military formations on the territory of Ukraine and in the occupied Crimea. “The number of made shots only in the town in recent weeks has reached nearly 15 thousand. This amount of ammunition equivalent to 14 filled freight cars. At the same time the official representative of the Russian President publicly expressed the hope that the militants in the East of Ukraine will not run out of ammo. Can there be any doubt who supplies the weapons? No. Does the Russian Federation”, — said zerkal.

According to her, Ukraine is asking the international court of justice on provisional measures during the pendency of the case. In particular, to make Russia to immediately stop material and other support “groups who resort to acts of terrorism against civilians in Ukraine,” and to put pressure on these groups, so that they in the future did not commit such acts, and to refrain from discrimination in the Crimea, in particular, to stop the ban of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and its activities and to investigate the disappearance of the Crimean Tatars.

For its part, Yale University Professor, who represents Ukraine in this review, Harold Hongi Koch said that we are talking about temporary measures that would have prevented the deterioration of the situation. “Interim measures are applied in cases, when events are changeable and when the situation on the ground is changing very quickly, as it was presented in a lawsuit of Equatorial Guinea against the French and they are also used in the case where violations have occurred recently and there is a need to prevent a recurrence”, — he said.

The Professor also noted that provisional measures are applied in cases when there is a need to protect the civilian population. “Briefly explain the claim of the Ukrainian side, Ukraine is trying to achieve the protection of the civilian population, which is endangered due to the use of weapons. In Crimea, the Ukrainian side demands from Russia to stop interference with ethnic communities. If this does not happen — it will bring large material and moral losses,” he informed.

Of course, the fact that the commencement of the hearing of the claim of Ukraine against Russia is positive, another question — how much time will be spent on making decision on application of measures of restraint from the International court of justice. As the speaker of the MFA of Ukraine Marian Betz, it may take about two months. However, she said: “These hearings are really important, but this hearing is not in fact the case, and a hearing regarding the request of Ukraine on the application of measures against Russia. As it is, in fact, will be seen on the practice court a few years.”

“Day” has addressed to the former Commissioner of Ukraine in the International Court of justice, lawyer-international Affairs Professor Volodymyr Vasylenko to comment on the value of the initial consideration of the claim of Ukraine against Russia in the Hague court.

“The fact of the consideration of the case is a reaffirmation of the fact that Russia does not consider the requirements of international law”

— Of course, from the point of view of interests of Ukraine is a positive fact. I think that the international court of justice recognized Russia guilty of violating the conventions on the prohibition of all forms of racial discrimination and the conventions on the prohibition of the financing of terrorism.

But this does not solve the main problem of Russia’s responsibility for armed aggression against Ukraine. The question of armed aggression and its qualifications will be considered only briefly, that the violation of these conventions occurred in the conditions of the annexation of the Crimea and armed conflict in the Donbass. But the court would not characterize Russia’s actions as aggression and will make a decision on the resumption of territorial integrity of Ukraine, compensation of losses incurred by Ukraine as a result of armed aggression, will not consider the question of punishing the perpetrators of aggression as crimes and war crimes.

Although the government is trying to introduce this claim in the international court of justice as one which will mean the implementation of the responsibility to Russia for its aggression against Ukraine, but in reality there will be a question about the responsibility of Russia for the violation of the two conventions and not more. And the decision on Ukraine will be positive, if she can convince the court that indeed, the conventions have been violated.

In the lawsuit, a lot of evidence. In my opinion, they are convincing, and the fact of consideration of cases on violation of the Convention is proof that Russia does not consider the requirements of international law and infringe on international law.

However, Russia, as a rule, does not adhere to international obligations in General and is unlikely to implement the decision of the International court of justice, which is likely to be not in favor of Ukraine. Two years ago, took place in the Hague international arbitration, and he made the decision to pay Russia $ 50 billion to shareholders of YUKOS for damages that were caused by the illegal nationalization of this company. So far, however, Russia does not pay and does not intend to pay compensation.

In the Statute of the International court of justice noted that if the state does not adhere to its decisions, he may appeal to the UN Security Council to demand the execution of decisions. However, this approach will not be effective, because Russia is in the UN Security Council veto. And the only way to force Russia to adhere to international law, to resume the international legal order, to implement the decision of international courts is the application of hard and wide-ranging sanctions against Russia. Russia, as practice shows, is not acting in accordance with international law and is not guided by the force of law, and the law of the strong. And only organized by the international Union of compulsion will have its effect. And because the Ukrainian diplomacy should work to convince the international community to create an anti-Putin coalition, as his time was established the anti-Hitler coalition in order to attract a criminal state, which is today Russia, to justice.

Undoubtedly, it was necessary to appeal to the international court of justice and demand the establishment of responsibility of Russia for the violation of these conventions, however, parallel to this, the Ukrainian leadership has long had to create within the country interagency coordinating body that would be mandated to prepare a consolidated claim of Ukraine as a state, which was subjected to armed aggression, to Russia as the state which has committed armed aggression against Ukraine. In this consolidated claim must be locked and legally issue all the facts which indicate the Commission of the Russian armed aggression and which testify to the damages caused by the aggression of Ukraine and the amount of losses incurred by the Ukrainian state as a result of unlawful actions of the Russian Federation, of war crimes committed during the aggression, crimes against humanity. This consolidated claim could be formally submitted through diplomatic channels Russia as the aggressor state.

This is the algorithm, the model that exists in international law. Of course, Russia will refuse satisfaction of this claim will be recorded but the legal position of Ukraine, caused damage and claims of Ukraine to Russia.

We don’t know what will happen in a year or two or three. At one time Hitler also hoped that it will be brought to justice and that those responsible will be the top leadership of the Third Reich and Germany as a state. But it happened.