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Ukraine’s allies back Kyiv at top UN court against Russia

In an unprecedented show of solidarity, 32 states back Ukraine at the UN court, accusing Russia of manipulating the genocide convention to validate its 2022 invasion.
international court of justice, russia ukraine war
The International Court of Justice, which has its seat in The Hague, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Photo:
Ukraine’s allies back Kyiv at top UN court against Russia

On 20 September, Ukraine’s international allies filed into the United Nations’ top court to support Kyiv’s case against Russia that alleges Moscow twisted the genocide convention to manufacture a pretext for its invasion last year, France 24 reports.

Reuters says “more than a dozen European states, as well as Australia and Canada,” asked the World Court to decide “it has jurisdiction in a case brought by Kyiv alleging that Russia abused the Genocide Convention to provide a pretext for the invasion of Ukraine.”

France 24 reports that an unprecedented 32 states made legal arguments in support of Ukraine to the 16-judge panel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Two days after Russia started a full-scale war against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Ukraine brought a case to the ICJ contending that the attack stemmed from Russia’s false claims of acts of genocide in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. According to Ukraine, Russia is abusing the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, adopted in the aftermath of World War Two.

German representative Wiebke Ruckert told judges the countries “strongly believe” the court has jurisdiction, and her country had a strong interest in how the genocide treaty was interpreted “not least in view of our past,” according to Reuters.

On 17 September, Russia asked the court to throw out the case, claiming Moscow had not actually invoked the genocide treaty when it used the term genocide.

“The court’s panel of international judges will likely take weeks or months to reach a decision on whether the case can proceed. If it does, a final ruling could still be years away,” according to France 24.

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