Russia urges top U.N. court in The Hague to dismiss Ukraine's war case
Russia demanded on Monday the judges of the International Court of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague that a case concerning the war in Ukraine should be dismissed. The case revolves around Russia's claim that it wanted to prevent genocide in the neighboring country. Ukraine accuses it of misusing international agreements to use this as a justification for an invasion.
Ukraine approached the United Nations’ highest court last year, just a few days after the start of the Russian invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin had claimed that residents of Eastern Ukraine were facing oppression and genocide by the pro-Western rulers in Kyiv.
The Ukrainian authorities argue that there was no risk of genocide in the eastern part of the country, where it has been fighting against pro-Russian rebels since 2014. They also maintain that the Genocide Convention does not provide a legal basis for an invasion to stop alleged genocide. Russia counters by saying that Ukrainians are attempting to obtain a ruling on the legality of the war through a legal loophole.
On Monday, Russia argued again that the case does not belong before the court. "Ukraine is not accusing Russia of genocide. Ukraine is also not accusing Russia of negligence in preventing or punishing genocide. Ukraine insists that no genocide has occurred," said the leader of Moscow's legal team Gennadi Kuzmin at the International Court of Justice. "If no genocide has occurred, the Genocide Convention cannot have been violated."
Last year, the International Court of Justice already sided with Ukraine. In March, Russia was ordered to halt the invasion, but it did not comply. Moscow argued that the court does not have the jurisdiction to rule on the matter. This is what the current sessions are discussing, which will continue until September 27.
Ukraine will have the opportunity to respond on Tuesday.
Reporting by ANP