Censor.NET reports citing Just Security.
Ukraine's representative in the U.N. International Court of Justice Harold Hongju Koh said Ukraine's argument focused on its request for provisional measures relating to both the Terrorism Financing Convention and the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The Ukrainian agent and Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal noted that the stakes have been raised even in the last few weeks as Russian-backed armed groups escalated their attacks in the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka. Indeed, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is recording the commission of ceasefire violations on a daily basis. (The U.S. statement to OSCE about the Avdiivka attack is here).
Professor Koh, in his remarks, provided an overview of the case and the facts and argument underlying Ukraine's request for provisional measures:
"All we ask is for this Court's temporary order protecting the innocent people of Ukraine, so that rights international law already protects are not destroyed while this Court deliberates. … [W]hat Ukraine fears is that the past will become prologue. To see why the people of Ukraine urgently need your protection, you must understand what they have endured over the past three years, and the grave breaches of international law that Russia has already inflicted upon them."
Given that Russia is a member of both treaties, Koh argued, Ukraine is only asking for an order demanding that Russia do what it has already committed to do-refrain from terrorist financing and from racial discrimination and cultural erasure:
"If Russia is in fact keeping its commitments, how can it object to the Court's provisional measures order, which will impose no burdens beyond those that Russia has already accepted?"
Koh was quite clear that "Ukraine has not come here seeking either relief for Russia's acts of territorial aggression in violation of the United Nations Charter, or confirmation of Ukraine's sovereignty over Crimea."
On Jan. 16, 2017, Ukraine filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice to hold Russian Federation accountable for acts of terrorism and discrimination in the course of its illegal aggression against Ukraine. The lawsuit is based on the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The hearing is scheduled to take place from March 6 to 9 inclusively. Ukraine presented its position on March 6, Russia - on March 7. On March 8-9, both sides will present their objections to each other's positions.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated: "Ukraine will be presenting evidence of Russia's crimes at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The truth is stronger than weapons!" One day into the hearing, Poroshenko noted: "We expect rulings that will cut the supply of weapons to the occupied territory and stop reprisals the ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are facing."
According to Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's main goal in The Hague is to protect the life and rights of the Ukrainians. Ukraine had held some 40 meetings with the Russian Federation before filing a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice.
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