World Court to rule on whether Russia violated international treaties in Ukraine

World Court to rule on whether Russia violated international treaties in Ukraine
World Court to rule on whether Russia violated international treaties in Ukraine

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Kyiv says Russia also violated a human rights treaty by discriminating against ethnic Tatars and Ukrainians in Crimea, the peninsula which Russia declared annexed from Ukraine in 2014. — AFP pic

THE HAGUE, Jan 31 — The United Nations’ top court will rule today on whether Russia violated an anti-terrorism treaty by funding pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, including those who shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

Kyiv says Russia also violated a human rights treaty by discriminating against ethnic Tatars and Ukrainians in Crimea, the peninsula which Russia declared annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukraine had asked the International Court of Justice to find Russia guilty of breaching obligations under the two UN treaties, which both countries have signed, and to order it to pay reparations.

In a hearing at the court in The Hague last June, Russia dismissed Ukraine’s allegations as fiction and “blatant lies”.

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Lawyers for Moscow denied systematic human rights abuses in Ukrainian territory that it occupies and rejected the accusation that it violated the UN treaty against the financing of terrorism.

Kyiv took Russia to the United Nations highest court in 2017, before Russia’s full scale invasion of Feb. 24, 2022.

In the case, which has taken almost seven years, Russia is accused of equipping and funding pro-Russian forces, including rebels who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew.

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In November 2022, a Dutch court sentenced two Russians and a Ukrainian in absentia to life imprisonment for their role in the disaster.

In Crimea, Ukraine says Russia was trying to erase the culture of ethnic Tatars and Ukrainians.

The court’s judgments are final and without appeal but it has no way to enforce its rulings.

A ruling finding Russia responsible for funding the pro-Russian fighters in Ukraine, could, however, boost separate cases against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

On Friday, the International Court of Justice will rule in another case in which Ukraine has accused Moscow of falsely applying the 1948 Genocide Convention to justify its Feb. 24, 2022 invasion. — Reuters

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