The ECtHR began to consider the case of Ukraine against Russia in Crimea

Crimea reax as EU court accepts Ukraine case

The European Court of Human Rights has begun considering the case &# 171; essentially – in Kiev announced the legal consequences for the aggressor country

KIEV – Ukraine intends «step by step» by court decisions to prove the facts of aggression and criminal behavior of Russia on the territory of the state, in particular, in the Crimea. This was stated by the Minister of Justice of the Republic. Denis Malyuska, commenting on January 14, the adoption of the merits by the European Court of Human Rights of the case «Ukraine vs Russia».

«The case has several important aspects at once, legal: we step by step prove by court decisions the facts of aggression and criminal behavior of the Russian Federation on the territory of our state. Court decisions – these are not political statements. Sooner or later, such decisions will have legal consequences for the top officials of the aggressor country.», – noted on January 14 Denis Malyuska on his Facebook page.

Announcement of the beginning of the trial «in fact» he named «the first intermediate victory in a series of cases of Ukraine against Russia» in the ECtHR.

«Today, the ECHR announced a decision, which recognized the case of Ukraine against Russia (in Crimea) as accepted and proceeded to consider the case on the merits», – emphasized the Minister of Justice.

In a commentary during a briefing on January 14, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba consideration of a case «Ukraine vs Russia» called «an important step towards bringing Russia to legal responsibility for aggression against Ukraine»

«And with each step the price of this responsibility will grow. I am absolutely convinced that the legal set of actions of Ukraine, and this is not only the ECHR, but all the processes that are taking place in the International Maritime Tribunal and the International Court of Justice, they all, step by step, will confirm the truth that Ukraine has been delivering to the world since 2014 years when the Russian aggression began, and they will refute all the propaganda and disinformation that the Russian Federation was spreading in this regard», – said Dmitry Kuleba during an online briefing.

As noted in the materials on the website of the ECHR, which relate to the definition of the procedure for consideration, initially the case «Ukraine vs Russia» was initiated by two complaints. Both lawsuits concerned events in Crimea, as well as in Eastern Ukraine.

As noted in the press release, the lawsuits filed by Ukraine against Russia regarding systematic violations of human rights in Crimea were found to be partially admissible..

«The court considers itself ineligible to decide whether, according to Russian law, the incorporation of Crimea into Russia was lawful from the point of view of international law.», – stated in the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Ukraine demands in court to recognize Russia’s violations of articles on the right to life, on the prohibition of torture, on the right to liberty and security of person, on the right to a fair trial, to freedom of expression, to freedom of assembly and association, and puts forward other demands.

It should be reminded that in February 2014, the occupation of Crimea by the Russian military without identification marks began. On March 16, 2014, an unrecognized by most countries of the world took place on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol «referendum» on the status of the peninsula, as a result of which Russia included Crimea in its structure. Neither Ukraine, nor the European Union, nor the United States recognized the results of the vote on «referendum». Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 18 announced «joining» Crimea to Russia.

Russia on human rights in Crimea

Russian side, day of consideration of the case «Ukraine vs Russia» at the ECHR commented on the human rights situation in Crimea.

«Over the past six years, Russia has actively contributed to strengthening the socio-economic, cultural, religious rights of national minorities living in Crimea», – noted in the statement of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe (CE) Ivan Soltanovsky, received on Thursday at the disposal of TASS.

Russia’s reaction to the decisions of the ECHR

Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Policy Analysis and Management Ruslan Bortnik notes that the ECHR did not accept for consideration several complaints on the claim of Ukraine.

«Tactically, this is the success of Ukraine and the very acceptance of the lawsuits suggests that there will be a decision, which may not be executed, but will strengthen the Ukrainian political position. Why is it unlikely to be fulfilled? Because in Russia since 2015, the norms of the law have been in force, according to which Russia can officially refuse to execute any decision of the ECHR», – Ruslan Bortnik says to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

He notes that about twenty percent of the decisions of the ECHR are executed in Russia, therefore, there are few prospects for this case, if the decision on the claim is in favor of Ukraine..

«A positive decision on this claim strengthens the position of official Kiev in other international affairs», – Ruslan Bortnik notes.

The ECtHR began consideration of the case Ukraine against Russia in Crimea

According to Ruslan Bortnik, in the case of positive results of the consideration of the case at the ECHR, Ukraine will be able to «create a discussion» in other cases with Russia: in a dispute over the use of the Black Sea shelf, on the situation in Donbass, in the International Criminal Court.

A chance for a positive decision

International political scientist Victoria Zakrevskaya notes that international trials take a long time, at the same time, there is a chance for a positive decision on the case «Ukraine vs Russia» exists.

«For example, you can remember the winnings «Naftogaz» vs «Gazprom» in the Stockholm Arbitration. From the point of view of international law, Ukraine’s position is very strong, since the annexation of Crimea was an illegal act of aggression. Therefore, if the lawyers finalize the arguments, it is quite possible to expect a positive decision for Ukraine. However, the court – this is an adversarial process, and its outcome is decided internally, and its result will be known by the fact of the decision», – says Victoria Zakrevskaya to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

Total ignore of international law

Ukrainian international expert Grigory Perepelitsa reminds that Russia ignored the decision of the UN International Court of Justice on human rights violations in the occupied Crimea on language law – for teaching in the schools of the peninsula in the languages ​​of national minorities – Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian languages.

«And on the issue of resuming the work of the Mejlis – Russia also ignored. What punishment did she receive for ignoring these decisions? No», – says Grigory Perepelitsa to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

According to him, Russia is behaving this way because it feels its impunity, since the decisions of international judicial bodies are advisory in nature and have an exclusively moral effect..

«And what is the moral effect in international relations? This is respect for a country that adheres to the norms of international law, adheres to the requirements of the UN Charter, respects state sovereignty and other requirements. Yes, just all these norms of the Charter Russia ignored!» – notes Grigory Perepelitsa.

Another reason, which, according to him, leads to Moscow ignoring the decisions of international instances. – the law that defines the supremacy of national law over international.

The ECtHR began to consider the case of Ukraine against Russia in Crimea