Ukraine’s Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko ~

Ukraine’s Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko

Ukraine is preparing to sue Russia in international courts to recover damages for property losses in Crimea, said Ukraine’s Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko, reports Espreso TV, April 3, citing Interfax Ukraine.

Petrenko said the initial estimates for these losses will be ready next week.

“The Ministry of Justice is currently preparing appropriate amendments to the claims about Crimea in the international courts. I expect to have the initial expert opinions on our losses in Crimea next week,” he said.

According to Petrenko, the claims will deal with property losses suffered by the Ministry of Energy and Coal, especially the Black Sea shelf belonging to the Black Sea Oil and Gas Company (Chornomornaftohas). Also included are losses by the Ministry of Infrastructure –the railroads, real estate, road, ships and planes remaining on Crimean territory–as well as damages suffered by the State Administration from the loss of health and tourist establishments and cultural heritage sites.

“We will obtain the market values for these initial properties and we will be able to prepare demands for compensation from the Russian Federation for the illegal activities they have undertaken in Crimea,” said Petrenko. In his view, Ukraine’s judicial prospects are quite positive in these cases, since all international bodies considered the actions of the Russian Federation illegal.

He explained that Russia has been deemed the aggressor, who carried out a de factor annexation of the territory of a neighboring country on European territory.

“We have the first verdict of the European Court of Human Rights, which in an unusually short period of time after the announcement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice — literally in just several hours — reached the decision to label the actions of the Russian Federation illegal and to order it to withdraw its troops,” Petrenko said.

“Even though Russia has ignored these decisions, according to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and in accordance with the regulations of the Council of Europe, Russia’s refusal to abide by these decisions provides the necessary grounds for full compensation of losses by the injured party,” he explained.

Petrenko added that Ukraine is preparing possible appeals to other international courts in the Naftogaz question (regarding the Black Sea Oil and Gas subsidiary of the state-owned oil and gas company), as well as issues pertaining to the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” He also said that the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. “This decision is extremely serious in terms of the evidence that Ukraine is using for seeking compensation for losses caused by the Russian Federation,” Petrenko said.


Translated by Anna Mostovych

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