« Sessions on the case brought by Ukraine regarding an alleged breach of the Genocide Convention concluded at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Wednesday.
Kiev has alleged that Moscow made false claims of ‘genocide’ to justify its intervention in eastern Ukraine in February 2022, before committing ‘grave violations’ of human rights itself.
Russia claims the court does not have the jurisdiction to make such a ruling, and argues that the case is not about ‘genocide’ but an attempt by Kiev to get a ruling on its decision to take military action.
« For us, it is important that we use this court as a court of law. We argue international law and facts. We don’t use this as a platform for some political manifestations, and for making some propaganda statements,” said Anton Korinevych, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine after the hearing.
“We hope that the court would remain in this speed of action in this case, and understanding that really, this is a very important case, again, not only for Ukraine but for the international community,” he added.
Wednesday marked the fifth and final day of hearings, on the jurisdiction of the court rather than the merits of the arguments. According to media reports, the procedural decision could be months away, and a verdict on the case could take years.
Both Russia and Ukraine are parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention, which states that all must prevent and punish genocide.
Moscow launched a military offensive in Ukraine in late February 2022 after recognising the independence of the DPR and LPR, claiming that Kiev had failed to guarantee their special status under the 2014 Minsk Agreements, and urging Ukraine to declare itself officially neutral and give assurances that it would never join NATO.
Kiev denounced the Russian action as an invasion. Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky imposed martial law throughout the country, announcing a general mobilisation, while the EU and the US imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow. »