Russian activist files constitutional complaint over Crimean annexation

Graffiti with Crimea painted in colors of the Russian flag 

Crimea, International

On June 30, Mikhail Anshakov, chairman of the consumer rights society Public Control (OZPP) filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court over the law on Crimea joining Russia. According to him, the law violates the fourth part of Article 15 of the Russian Constitution, namely the principle of the rule of international law.

Anshakov and his two co-applicants, Valeriy Otstavnykh and Constantin Seleznev, said their argument is based on Clause 4 of Article 15 of the Russian Constitution, which says that “universally recognized principles and norms of international law as well as international agreements of the Russian Federation shall be an integral part of its legal system. If an international agreement of the Russian Federation establishes rules that differ from those stipulated by law, then the rules of the international agreement shall apply.”

The complaint was filed after the Russian Justice Ministry refused to register an international public movement called Union in Support of Russian-Ukrainian Friendship. As the appeal to the Constitutional Court states, “the movement includes a department on the territory of a foreign state – Republic of Crimea (Ukraine).”

“An international Russian-Ukrainian border agreement reads that the territory of the peninsula, which incorporates the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, is an integral part of Ukraine,” Anshakov said.

On 8 June 2015, consumer rights society headed by Anshakov published a memo for the Russian tourist in Crimea. It stated that according to international law Crimea has the status of an occupied territory. The organization recommended that tourists seek Ukraine’s permission before undertaking trips to Crimea. This memo angered Putin himself, on June 22 access to the site with the memo was blocked by the Russian media control agency Roskomnadzor, and the General Prosecutor demanded a criminal probe be launched with regards to the consumer rights society.

Translated by: Nata Abbott

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