From the ICC to the ECHR: what are the lawsuits filed by Ukraine against Russia in international courts

От МУС до ЕСПЧ: какие иски подала Украина против РФ в международные суды

Captured sailors, war crimes in the Donbass, the loss of state-owned enterprises from the annexation of the Crimea – the list of claims of Ukraine to Russia, dealt with in international courts, is growing. DW – learn more about them.

More recently, in late may, the international Tribunal for the law of the sea ordered Russia to immediately release captured in the Kerch Strait Ukrainian sailors, however, on Monday, June 10, will begin consideration of another court case under the claim of Kiev against Moscow.

The permanent court of arbitration (PCA) will be considered in the Hague on allegations of violation of the Russian Federation of the UN Convention on the law of the sea in the Black and Azov seas. But “sea” cases of legal disputes between Ukraine and Russia is not limited. DW recalls the most important of them.

The struggle for sea in international courts

The already mentioned arbitration in the PCA of the violation by Moscow of the UN Convention on the law of the sea Ukraine initiated in September 2016. And in February 2018, the Ukrainian side has submitted to arbitration Memorandum, which pointed to Russia’s violation of the sovereign rights of Kiev in the Black and Azov seas and the Kerch Strait. Among the claims of the Kiev – illegal resource extraction on the sea shelf and the blockade of the passage of ships in Ukrainian ports through the Strait under the pretext of construction of the Kerch bridge.

The representative of Ukraine in this case, and Deputy foreign Minister for European integration Elena serkal expects that the hearing on the merits will be held in 2021. And on 10 June of this year, the PCA will hear the preliminary observations of the parties.

After November 2018 the Russian Federal security service seized and arrested three Ukrainian warships, as well as 24 members of their crews near Kerch Strait, Ukraine seeking their release in the International Tribunal of the UN law of the sea.

According to the position of Kiev, the UN Convention on the law of the sea guarantees warships absolute immunity, regardless of whether they were in the territorial waters of Russia, as claimed by Moscow, or in international waters. To the sailors did not have behind bars to wait for a process that can take years, Ukraine asked the judges to apply to Moscow the provisional measures. May 25, the court ordered Russia to immediately release the sailors and allow them to return to Ukraine. Moscow to execute the court decision did not.

Ukraine against Russia in the ECHR

Most claims against Russia Ukraine lodged with the European court of human rights (ECHR). Thus, the capture of the Ukrainian military seamen in the Kerch Strait was also the reason for the appeal of Ukraine to the ECHR, which Kiev is seeking the immediate release of the Ukrainian sailors. In response to the statement of the government of Ukraine, the court ordered Russia to report on the whereabouts and status of the military and to ensure that the injured the proper treatment.

The other actions of the Kiev, associated with the violation of human rights in the occupied Russian territories were merged into two large-scale production – in the Crimea and Donbas.

Also, the ECHR is considering a separate lawsuit about the illegal removal of children from uncontrolled Kiev part of the Donbass to Russia, and in addition, filed in August 2018 lawsuit regarding Ukrainian political prisoners kept on the territory of annexed Crimea and the Russian Federation.

A lawsuit against Russia in the Hague over the Crimea

The UN international court in the Hague considers the Ukrainian lawsuit against Russia on the violation of conventions on the suppression of the financing of terrorism, as well as on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. The Ukrainian side accused Russia in violation of these conventions during the annexation of Crimea and aggression in the Donbas. The lawsuit was filed in January 2017, and in April, the court entered interim measures against Russia in the second part of this claim: the Kremlin is obliged to refrain from violating the rights of Crimean Tatars and ensure the right to education in the Ukrainian language in Crimea.

Now Ukraine is working to prove their allegations on the merits. In June 2018, the Ukrainian side presented their arguments in the form of an appropriate Memorandum. “He weighs about 90 pounds, consists of 17 500 pages of text and contained in the 29 volumes of”, spoke about the document on the day the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin. According to estimates of the Ukrainian Ministry of foreign Affairs, the proceedings may continue for several years.

The Hague Tribunal is considering the case on the Maidan, the Crimea and Donbas

Also the international criminal court (ICC), more commonly known as the Hague Tribunal, which deals with war crimes and crimes against humanity, April 2014 considering the case “Situation in Ukraine”. It concerns three issues: the killings on Maidan and the events in the Crimea and in the Donbass.

In the annual report of the court’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda released in December 2017, provides that a court may characterize the fighting in the Donbas as an international armed conflict, and on February 20, 2014 and until the publication of the report in the East of Ukraine there were more than 1,200 cases of possible Commission of crimes.

Earlier, on November 14, 2016, Bensouda has equated the situation in annexed Crimea to the international armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Two days after the publication of this report, 16 November 2016, the Russian President issued a decree on the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the jurisdiction of the International criminal court.

Published on 5 December last year, the report of the office of the Prosecutor of the ISS relative to the previous investigation of “the Situation in Ukraine” announces that in the near future will be made a conclusion about the jurisdiction of crimes committed in Ukraine.

Corporate interest

Most successful in a legal confrontation with Russia remain, the Ukrainian state company. So, “Naftogaz of Ukraine” has won a victory in the Stockholm arbitration, which resulted in the Russian “Gazprom” will be forced to pay “Naftogaz” of 2.56 billion dollars.

In addition, in October 2016, “Naftogaz” and six of the companies included in its group, has submitted to the Permanent court of Arbitration the claim for the takeover of Russia their property during the annexation of Crimea. Previously commercial Director of “Naftogaz of Ukraine” Yuriy Vitrenko said that the amount of the claim plus interest amounts to about seven billion dollars.

The victory in the process against Russia won recently and “Oschadbank”. 26 November 2018 it became known that the arbitration court in Paris ordered to pay the Ukrainian state Bank of 1.3 billion dollars in compensation for property losses and of business as a result of the annexation of Crimea.

От МУС до ЕСПЧ: какие иски подала Украина против РФ в международные суды

От МУС до ЕСПЧ: какие иски подала Украина против РФ в международные суды

От МУС до ЕСПЧ: какие иски подала Украина против РФ в международные суды

От МУС до ЕСПЧ: какие иски подала Украина против РФ в международные суды

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