Ukraine accuses Russia of funding terrorism and racial discrimination in the Hague. Full introductory text

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) holds hearings in the case concerning the Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) from 6 to 9 March 2017, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court. Copyright: UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/Frank van Beek

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) holds hearings in the case concerning the Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) from 6 to 9 March 2017, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court. Copyright: UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/Frank van Beek 

2017/03/07 - 00:14 • News

On 6 March 2017, the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the UN, started holding hearings in Ukraine’s case against Russia concerning the Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Ukraine has asked for provisional measures to be applied to Russia. Particularly, Ukraine seeks relief for Russia’s continuous violations of these two treaties. Russia is due to answer tomorrow, 7 March 2017. If the Court agrees that there is a case to answer, examining the evidence could take several years. In order to provide relief to civilians from aggression of the Russian-backed armed groups in Donbas and repressions in Crimea, Ukraine has asked for provisional measures to be applied immediately.

Read also: Full text of Ukraine’s case against Russia in UN court

In this introductory statement, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Olena Zerkal outlined Ukraine’s claims against Russia.

zerkal2

The Agent of Ukraine, H.E. Ms Olena Zerkal, on the opening day of the hearings. Copyright: UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/Frank van Beek.

Mr. President, distinguished Members of this honorable Court. It is a great honor and exceptional privilege to appear before the principal judicial body of the United Nations on behalf of Ukraine.

Ukraine has come before this Court to defend the basic human rights of its people, faced with the Russian Federation’s violations of international law. Today, I ask the Court to indicate provisional measures to prevent those rights from being irreparably harmed while this case is pending.

Thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians have already suffered deadly attacks, and millions remain under imminent threat. Their peaceful and simple day-to-day routines have been ruined, and their fundamental rights have been blatantly violated by one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation continuously violates international law and abuses human rights. The Russian Federation continues to supply deadly assistance to illegal armed groups in Ukraine that have committed numerous terrorist attacks. In occupied Crimea, the Russian Federation wholly disregards human rights, while implementing policies of cultural erasure and pervasive discrimination. These actions are unacceptable to the international community: They have been denounced by the United Nations.

The Russian Federation implements its foreign policy without regard for human life, and uses any available tool to impose its will.

The Russian Federation’s tactics include support for terrorism and acts of racial discrimination, as well as propaganda, subversion, intimidation, political corruption, and cyber-attacks. This is the reality that we are facing in Ukraine. The Russian Federation has continued to engage in this conduct for three years, and all this time it continues to deny its multifaceted aggression against Ukraine.

Today, I stand before the World Court to request protection of the basic human rights of the Ukrainian people. We seek justice and accountability under international law, while the Russian Federation continues to demonstrate disregard for its obligations under international treaties. As a result, the people of Ukraine are facing an ongoing campaign of terror and cultural erasure. The situation is truly dire.

Even in the last few weeks, the stakes have been raised. Russian-backed armed groups have again escalated their attacks and intimidation of civilians. In the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, just within the week between 29 January and 5 February 2017, independent OSCE monitors have confirmed at least 8 deaths and 30 injuries among civilians. As a result of indiscriminate shelling, the city has suffered widespread destruction of residential buildings and critical infrastructure, leaving civilians without electricity, water supplies, and even heat at harsh temperatures far below zero.

Read more: Escalation in Avdiivka, Eastern Ukraine: key facts and sources

In just two months, since the beginning of 2017, the amount of ammunition used to shell Avdiivka is estimated at almost 15,000 pieces. This amount is equivalent to 14 cargo railway cars fully stocked with ammunition. Meanwhile, the official spokesperson of the Russian president publicly expressed hope that Russian proxies will not run short of ammunition. Can there be any doubt about where all this ammunition comes from? No. It is from the Russian Federation.

The attacks on Ukrainian civilians are the logical conclusion of the Russian Federation’s support for groups that engage in terrorism. The destruction of Flight MH17 with a Russian Buk system did not stop Russian financing of terrorism. With that continued support, we suffered an attack on a bus at Volnovakha. A mere two weeks later, Mariupol was bombarded, and Kramatorsk a few weeks after that. In Kharkiv, a peaceful population was terrified by a string of bombings. These were not isolated incidents, but the result of Russia’s sponsorship of terrorism.

While in the east of Ukraine civilians continue to suffer indiscriminate attacks, in occupied Crimea the Russian Federation continues to implement a Soviet-style approach to human rights, suppressing groups it sees as its enemies.

Just recently, eleven Crimean Tatars who were peacefully protesting against arbitrary searches were forcefully detained. This is yet another example of how the Russian regime silences those it disfavors.

In this case, Ukraine seeks relief for Russia’s continuous violations of two treaties: the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Ukraine’s counsel will explain in detail the nature of our claims, and the reasons why provisional measures are so urgent. Before they do so, I wish to briefly provide historical context to show that current events in Ukraine are not occurring in isolation.

Since the re-establishment of modern Ukraine’s statehood after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of Ukraine have sought to embrace democratic values, placing human life and dignity as the highest priority of both the government and society.

Unlike many other post-communist states, Ukraine has never been known for ethnic tensions. The Constitution of Ukraine and relevant legislation provides a fundamental system of protection of ethnic groups’ rights, as verified by UN and EU monitors. Horrifying news of terror against civilians seemed to be something that was happening far away from us.

Ukraine’s transformation and strengthening of ties with the European Union became a particular source of Russian anger. The Russian Federation threatened to destroy Ukraine’s economy by imposing punitive unilateral trade restrictions, attempted to freeze Ukraine’s people by withholding gas supplies during the harsh winter season, and called Ukraine’s territorial integrity into question.

Over the last decade Russia’s interference in Ukrainian affairs has steadily escalated. It reached dangerous new levels in 2014.

  • Russia decided to intervene in Ukraine militarily;
  • sponsor illegal groups that commit acts of terrorism on Ukrainian soil;
  • and violate the human rights of millions of people of Ukraine.

Including, for too many, their right to life. This conduct reflects a broader pattern of Russian behavior that sadly we are all familiar with.

As Deputy Foreign Minister, I have dealt with all of these issues. But today I am here as Ukraine’s Agent, and in that capacity, my interest is in the law, not politics. For almost three years, I have personally pursued negotiations with the Russian Federation on these legal disputes. I admit that it has been very difficult. Time after time, Russia brushed aside Ukraine’s protests of treaty violations. Our objections were not taken seriously, and we were repeatedly told that we did not have a real dispute. Then I would return home and see with my own eyes Russia continuing its campaign against the Ukrainian people. After many efforts, it was finally time to say that enough is enough.

That is what finally brings us here to the World Court. At this trying time, we must place our faith in the institutions of international law for protection. This case will send a message about whether the international legal order can stand up to powerful countries that disregard the law and disrespect human rights.

At the same time, our request today is very modest. All we seek is a measure of stability and calm, in an unpredictable and dangerous situation.

Mr. President, Members of the Court, in light of the imminent threat facing the people of Ukraine, I urge you to order provisional measures. Ukraine’s distinguished counsel will explain the reasons why the Court should grant us this protection.

First, Professor Harold Hongju Koh will provide an overview of Ukraine’s claims and our request for provisional measures.

Second, Ms. Marney Cheek will explain the need for provisional measures relating to the Terrorism Financing Convention, and will demonstrate that all criteria for the indication of provisional measures are satisfied.

Third, Mr. Jonathan Gimblett will explain the need for provisional measures relating to the CERD [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination], and will demonstrate that the criteria for the indication of provisional measures under that Convention are also satisfied.

Thank you, Mr. President and honorable Members of the Court. I now ask you to give the floor to Professor Koh to continue the oral pleadings of Ukraine.

The hearing on provisional measures is expected to last four days.  Ukraine will present arguments on Monday, 6 March, and Wednesday, 8 March.  The Russian Federation will present arguments on Tuesday, 7 March, and Thursday, 9 March.  The hearing will open each day at 10 a.m. in The Hague, 11 a.m. Ukraine time.
The ICJ considers requests for provisional measures on an expedited basis.  The Court is expected to issue a decision in the coming months.
As for the consideration of the case on its merits, in the coming months the ICJ will define a schedule of written proceedings.  Oral hearings will be scheduled thereafter.

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  • veth

    Russia is guilty as charged.

  • Vasyl P.

    Definitely a case. Fuhrer PUTLER took over Crimea, abused Ukrainian speakers/tatars there, turned Sevastopol into a literal garbage dump, invaded Donbass and killed thousands of ethnic Ukrainians and Ukraine-supporting Russians in the region.

    • Andrew Chmil

      “Vasyl P.” — Ruski MOLE.

      — A “TRUMP SUPPORTER” :)))

      HE IS A RUSKI **MOLE** & “moderator” of a RUSKI MOLE-TROLL SITE — with SPUTNIK & VARIOUS OTHER RUSKI COMMIE ARTICLES @ VARIOUS “DISQUS CHANNELS” like:

      __UKRAINE TODAY USA__

      __THE PRESIDENT TRUMP CHANNEL__

      __IMPERIAL NEWS NETWORK__ etc.. BS “Disqus Channels”

      (FREE!! CHEAP!!!)

      CLAIMS ON HIS DISQUS PAGE
      https://disqus.com/by/Vapetrenko/
      ———————-
      Right-wing freedom fighter; pro-democracy, anti-corruption, anti-feminazis, anti-fascist, Russian, Ukrainian, American
      ————————–

      Has claimed in the past to be Ukrainian & American.

      IS NEITHER!!

      SPOKE RUSKI AT ME — Thinking I would (or should?!?!) understand that DOG BARK & GROWL LANGUAGE :)

      “Larissa” a “MODERATOR” MOLE/TROLL & the OTHER SCUM — will ALL tell you how “Larissa” — “LOST HER ONLY CHILD IN DONBAS!!!!”
      A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-E-E-E-eeeeeee!!!!! :)

      Another RUSKI SKANK — whined about being “RAPED”!!! as per her Disqus home page no less!!!! :)) — she deleted it after I posted & laughed at her DUM RUSKI @SS!!! :))

  • Dirk Smith

    Crush Muscovy.

  • Alex George

    I wish Ukraine all the best in the lawsuit.

    Russia of course won’t comply with any verdict, but this is all brilliant publicity which counters the stream of disinformation issuing from the Kremlin.

  • Njordheim

    The blockade of the Donbass was decided by a rather small group of nationalist leaders who never asked for, or received, any authorization for their actions from the junta in Kiev.

    Furthermore, the junta in Kiev never officially endorsed or even supported that move. But most amazingly, the junta never sent any kind of official police/military/security force to regain control of the situation.

    There was a group of men who, armed with sticks and baseball bats, tried to remove the Ukronazi crazies from the tracks, but they were quickly beaten back.

    Keep in mind that there are tens of thousands of soldiers and policemen deployed in the immediate vicinity of these volunteer units, but nobody, absolutely nobody has made a move to restore law and order.

    • Murf

      The Donbas Blockaders are in the finest tradition of civil society. They are holding their government accountable for what is does and fails to do.
      If Russia had the same thing the country would be far richer and the bankers in the Cayemens,Panama, Cyprus and Switzerland would be poorer.
      You are right about the weak response. Ukrainians are not going to put up with that kind of thuggish oppression.

      Hay No Brains, Did you see were Tillerson said there will be no back door deals with regards to Ukraine?
      Then Trump says Obama was weak on Russia with regards to Crimea and Donbas.
      Gee all those beautiful dreams of a “Grand Deal” that for some reason let Putin do what ever he wanted seem to have gone up in smoke.
      To bad, so sad.

      • Njordheim

        Did you fail to notice that Trump is a flip flop ‘Gemini’ who is fighting for his own survival, dumbass?

        Kiev has done almost everything to alienate the breakaway regions of Lugansk and Donetsk from Ukraine. Poroshenko will continue to delay the implementation of the Minsk agreements, since the fulfillment of the accords doesn’t play into his hands.

        Internally, “defrauded bank investors” and “civil activists” have stormed Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers and called on others to rally to them.

        The protestors are demanding the impeachment of Petro Poroshenko and the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman. One of the activists, Yury Kleynos, has announced the beginning of a hunger strike.

        Ukraine is not a country, its a territory. The time will come when they would come begging Russia for help as Trump’s adminsitration will not be shelling cash on those lunatics.

        And while you fantasizing about Ukraine not being a total dump place after famous Maidan2 coup U.S. backed and sponsored ISIS and Al Nusra cut each other’s heads off in gruesome battle so you are losing foothold and proxy soldiers in that battle also. Russia -U.S. 2:0 …. Keep Trying :)

        • Andrew Chmil

          ***SERBIANS*** LOVE RUSSIANS !!!! :)))
          They are scum too! 😉

          Putin Says He Will Use Human Shields: “We Will Put Their Women and Children in Front of Our Troops”

        • Murf

          Fighting for his survival?
          What do you think is going to happen?
          There is not going to be a military coup.
          It unlikely he will be impeached, which is only a legal process, and if he is sitting President has been removed from office in 200+ years.
          Trump is just going to have to get ahead of the learning curve and act like a fu*king President.
          It’s bed when even liberals are starting to say they miss Bush.
          As for the rest of your usual nonsense don’t worry about Ukraine you have lost them, you should be worrying about is Belarus imploding.
          Yet another ally down the drain.

          • Njordheim

            Veterans Today call Trump “The most powerful cornered animal on the planet”. Why do you think this is true? If “deep state” cannot tame him no one would doubt they’ll go Dallas on him.

            This is how the business is done in U.S. The world is watching and is laughing at the fact that that Presidency in U.S. is TV show for masses in which the wealthy donors elect their own representatives – NOT representatives of the people. Tell us “I am not a chicken and can admit that Country is run by “deep state”?

            U.S. is yet another empire going bust … on behalf of the parasites who control the right to crest currency out of thin air. And if the Hundreds of US Marines can invade Syria, and “invade” is the term, as nobody invited them and nobody believes they are going to do anything against ISIS, unless they “go rogue” and murder their own commanders like was done in Vietnam, Russia can do the same and so can China. Why not?

          • Murf

            I have absolutely no opinion on what a bunch of Russian mouthpieces like Veterans Today think.
            As for the Marine cannon cockers in in Syria they are there to support the SDF final advance on Raqqa. If they are equipped Excalibur artillery rounds then they are going to eat ISIS alive. As for some supposed mutiny, these are battle proven professionals, not your drunken conscripts.

          • Andrew Chmil

            Julia Davis quote: “Mike Flynn has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent, admits receiving $530,000 from Turkey”

            (((Not a bad “score”! — Ruski would have given him AND TRUMP — “REAL BUCKS!!!” — but those boys blew-it!))

            Article:
            Former Trump aide Flynn says lobbying may have helped Turkey
            http://bigstory.ap.org/article/former-trump-security-adviser-flynn-admits-turkey-lobbying

      • Njordheim

        Yesterday, March 7th, the chiefs of the General Staffs of Russia, Turkey, and the US held a trilateral meeting in Antalya, Turkey. Russian General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov, Turkish General Staff Chief Hulusi Akar, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, Joseph Dunford were all present.

        This allows US to evaluate opportunities how to stab partners in the back, which is the Washington’s principle ‘gambit’ in the most of the international relationships.

        • Andrew Chmil

          LYING, HIDING, COWARDLY ***SERBIAN*** mental case on “medication” — WHO LOVES TO HAVE PEOPLE CALL HIM A RUSKI TROLL — is back for some more “ATTENTION”.
          :)

          http://tinyurl.com/h3gmpem

        • Murf

          Partners, no.
          Russians, yes.
          An enthusiastic yes.
          The meeting is to de inflict the situation around Manjib.
          Turks say they are going to take it while the Syrians and Kurds say they are not.
          The U.S. has supported our Kurdish friends again by positioning our troops in the city. There is a recent picture of Stryker vehicles flying US flags in the city.
          That means us frontline combat troops not SF.
          Also there is a battery of Marine artillery that will be supporting the assault on Raqqa by the SDF.

          If I were you I be more worried about an article in the French media that the Israelis conducted a Bombing raid on Damascus with an F-35.
          Right under the noses of a Syrian S-300 and a Russian manned S-400.
          Yes you should very worried.

          • Njordheim

            “Trump’s America “Kicked to the Curb,” Russia Takes Over World Leadership”

            In March, Moscow became the center of the diplomatic activity of global and regional powers involved in a number of the ongoing crises in the Middle East. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due in Moscow March 9 for a two-day visit. He will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and will participate in a session of the Council on High-Level Cooperation between Russia and Turkey.

            At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Moscow and to meet Putin. The two leaders will discuss the current situation in the Middle East and aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, according to the Kremlin press service. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow in the coming weeks.In March, Moscow became the center of the diplomatic activity of global and regional powers involved in a number of the ongoing crises in the Middle East. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due in Moscow March 9 for a two-day visit. He will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and will participate in a session of the Council on High-Level Cooperation between Russia and Turkey.

            At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Moscow and to meet Putin. The two leaders will discuss the current situation in the Middle East and aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, according to the Kremlin press service. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow in the coming weeks.

            http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/03/08/balance-of-power-in-middle-east-in-post-isis-era/

            The truth is not what you trolls are parroting on this propaganda portal. World see the truth and is laughing at VERY corrupt Washington and disgusting in-fights among the representatives of the leftist and rightist oligarchs aka billionaire, which hurt American people.

    • Andrew Chmil

      “..nobody, absolutely nobody has made a move to restore law and order.”

      That means we should AGAIN bomb those ***SERBIAN*** CHILD RAPISTS & COWARDS again!!! BOMB THOSE ***SERBIAN*** COWARDS SOME MORE — BACK INTO THE STONE AGE WHERE THEY BELONG!

      They are LYING SCUM, **COWARDS** & MENTAL CASES!