Gorshenin Weekly (24.04.2017) – On 19 April 2017, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague delivered its order on Ukraine’s request for provisional measures against Russia.
It said that the evidence before the court is sufficient to establish, prima facie, the existence of a dispute between Ukraine and Russia on 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).
The court indicated provisional measures in respect of CERD. In particular, it obliged Russia to refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions, including the self-styled government Majlis, and ensure the availability of education in the Ukrainian language. Both parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute, the court added.
The court did not indicate provisional measures requested by Ukraine with regard to ICSFT because at this stage of proceedings, Ukraine has not put before it evidence which affords a sufficient basis to find it plausible that the elements of intention, knowledge and purpose are present in Russia’s actions. The court said it expected both parties to work for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister and head of the Ukrainian delegation at the ICJ, Olena Zerkal, welcomed the court conclusions on the application of ICSFT, saying that the judges recognised that the events presented by Ukraine fall under the jurisdiction of the convention and supported Ukraine’s position on the pre-trial procedure.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the court’s order was very important. For the first time Russia was legally recognised as a party to the Minsk agreements, not an intermediary as it wanted to present itself. Representatives of Ukraine and Russia will meet ICJ President Ronny Abraham in The Hague on 12 May. They will discuss a schedule for the submission of documents and a possibility of Russia’s appeal of court jurisdiction.
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