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UN Court to hold hearings of Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia on March 6-9

February 01, 20:45 UTC+3

The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine

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THE HAGUE, February 1. /TASS/. The International Court of Justice will hold public hearings of Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia on March 6-9, the court said in a press release on Wednesday.

"The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings in the case concerning Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 March 2017, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court," the press release reads.

"The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine," the press release adds.

The first round of oral observations will take place on March 6-7, the parties will be given three hours each to state their positions. On the first day, Ukrainian representatives will address the court while Russia’s representatives will speak on the second day. The second round will be held on March 8-9, on the first day two hours will be provided to Ukraine while Russia will have two hours to address the court on the second day.

Ukraine’s claim

Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice on January 16. Ukraine claims that following the Orange Revolution of 2004, it "has been subjected to increasing degrees of Russian pressure and intimidation." According to Ukraine, since 2014, Russia escalated its interference in Ukraine’s affairs, "intervening militarily in Ukraine, financing acts of terrorism and violating the human rights of millions of Ukraine’s citizens, including, for all too many, their right to life". Ukraine also claims that in the eastern parts of the country, Russia "instigated and sustained an armed insurrection against the authority of the Ukrainian State" so "Russia is in violation of fundamental principles of international law, including those enshrined in the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Terrorism Financing Convention).

Besides that, Ukraine states that in Crimea, Russia "brazenly defied the UN Charter, seizing a part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory by military force." According to the Ukrainian authorities, on these territories Russia has been conducting a "deliberate campaign of cultural erasure, beginning with the invasion and referendum and continuing to this day", thus violating the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Kiev’s demands

Ukraine demands the court find Russia guilty of violating its obligations under the two international conventions and sentence it to abide by those obligations in accordance with international law.

Besides that, on the day when the lawsuit was filed, Ukraine also filed a request for the indication of provisional measures, stating that its purpose was to protect its rights, pending the determination of the case on the merits. Ukraine particularly requested the court indicate provisional measures so that Russia refrained "from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute under CERD before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve" as well as "from any act of racial discrimination… in the territory under its effective control, including the Crimean peninsula."

Moscow’s stance

After Ukraine had filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Kiev was interested neither in protecting people nor in abiding by agreements while in fact it was pursuing short-term political ends. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that "Russia intends to employ all possible means of legal defense."

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