Partial Win for Ukraine Against Russia at ICJ
19 April, 2017

The International Court of Justice announced its ruling on Ukraine’s case against Russia today, on April 19th 2017. It partially grants Ukraine’s request for preliminary measures against Russia under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. However, the Court said that it would not impose measures ordering Russia to stop funding and equipping pro-Russian separatists as part of the case brought against Moscow by Ukraine.

Read More: ICJ Case: Ukraine vs. Russian Federation, Explained

The President of the ICJ, Ronny Abrahams, read out the decision in a public meeting at the Peace Palace, the official home of the International Court in The Hague.

The decision concerned the election of provisional measures based on claims that Russia supports terrorism in Donbas and ethnic discrimination against Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in annexed Crimea.

Moreover, the ICJ expects Ukraine and Russia to both uphold and implement the Minsk agreements.

“The Court expects that both parties work in a joint effort towards the implementation of the agreements reached in Minsk, in order to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” said President of the Court, Ronny Abraham.

On 16th January 2017, the Government of Ukraine filed an application at the registry of the Court, instigating proceedings against the Russian Federation with regard to the alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism of 9th December 1999 (hereinafter the “ICSFT”) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 21st December 1965 (hereinafter “CERD”).

Read More: An Interview with Lyal S. Sunga, Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

On 6th-9th March a court hearing was held at the UN International Court of Justice on Ukraine’s case against Russia.

On 6th March, the Ukrainian side gave a speech asking the International Court to demand that Russia stop financing and providing weapons, equipment and training to the illegal militia groups in Donbas. On the second day, the Russian side presented their arguments.

Later on, the leader of the Ukrainian delegation to ICJ, Olena Zerkal, announced that, on the last day of the hearing, the Ukrainian side expected the Russian side to strengthen their attempts to manipulate and fake their position. On the last day, Russia declared that the Ukrainian side had no concrete evidence to support the claim that Russia was supplying weapons to Donbas.

At the same time, the Kremlin promised to accept the ICJ’s decision in The Hague.