Public hearing on the Preliminary Objections raised by Russian Federation before the ICJ on the interpretation and application of the ICSFT and ICERD

Events

On 03-07 June 2019, the Peace Palace (The Hague) hosted a public hearing of the Russian Federation's Preliminary Objections before the International Court of Justice on the interpretation and application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).

Video record of the hearings is available at link.

During the speeches of its advocates, Russia clearly demonstrated its attitude to international law by denying all known facts in order to legitimize its own destructive activities.

The position of the Russian party expressed by advocates during the public hearings:

  • Ukraine's application is politically motivated and artificial. The current events in Ukraine are a coup d'etat and a civil war;
  • the only dispute that exists between Ukraine and the RF concerns aggression and the application of international humanitarian law;
  • Russia's advocates deny the existence of a dispute between the Parties;
  • the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people is not the only representative body of the Crimean Tatar people; and its ban is related to its violation of the provisions of the national legislation of the RF, namely extremist activities;
  • non-fulfillment by the parties of the Minsk agreements, whereto the so-called ‘LPR’ or ‘DPR’ are also the parties in addition to Ukraine and Russia;
  • there is no terrorism in Ukraine only because various observers did not use the word ‘terrorism’. Russian national law prohibits the financing of terrorism by civil servants;
  • in the context of the shoot-down of MH17, the Russian Agent, referring to the Report of the International Joint Investigation Team dated May 2018, stated that there were still no answers to the question why the plane was shot down and who was responsible for it;
  • Ukraine has not fully complied with the pretrial settlement procedures.

The position of the Ukrainian party expressed by advocates during the public hearings:

  • the real subject matter of the dispute lies in the interpretation and application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD);
  • after the illegal occupation of Crimea, Russia launched a large-scale campaign to culturally exterminate the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians. Russia has resorted to the collective punishment of the entire ethnic groups in the illegally occupied Crimea;
  • according to the UN Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine for the period from May to August 2016, “no amnesty can be given” for the most serious crimes and violations of human rights. In case of such serious crimes as the terrorist acts – amnesty issues has never been considered during the Minsk process;
  • in the context of the shoot-down of MH17 aircraft, there is a growing body of evidence in this case. The International Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has established that BUK missile system used to shoot down MH17 was delivered by individuals from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, based in Kursk, Russia. The investigation is nearing completion and indictments are expected soon;
  • it was emphasized that the armed formations of the so-called ‘LPR’ or ‘DPR’ are not parties to the Minsk process; thus, discussion of their interests in this context is meaningless;
  • Ukraine appealed to the ICJ as to the final authority to highlight Russia's gross violations of international treaties.
Hague
June, 2019
03