Russia boycotted hearings at the top UN court in The Hague Monday over Ukraine seeking an emergency order to hostilities in the country, with Kyiv arguing that Moscow falsely applied genocide laws to justify starting a war.
Speaking to journalists after the hearing, Ukrainian envoy Anton Korynevych said that legally, there was no problem in Russia failing to show up, explaining in detail why Ukraine had used the UN court to get an order to stop the war.
Understanding the actual matter
“And we expected such conduct by the Russian Federation. But it doesn’t affect any legal grounds, and it doesn’t have any legal effects under the statute of International Court of Justice under the rules of procedure,” he said.
Ukraine made its case before the court, which issues legally binding decisions, and the court can decide without all parties presenting their cases.
“We officially asked the court during the pleadings and in our official positions, and this has been officially stated in our requests and application, that the court imposes the order on provisional measures, as soon as possible, urgently,” said Korynevych.
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“Because this is for our country for our people. So, we do have precedents. We have case laws in which the court was rather fast and effective in the imposition of provisional measures,” Korynevych said.
He said he hoped the court would act urgently as it is “a matter of life and death for our Ukrainian citizens.”
“We chose this path because we saw that the alleged violations of Genocide Convention claim that some non-existent genocide exists in Ukraine, in particular in Donbas (eastern Ukraine),” said Korynevych, citing President Vladimir Putin’s stated justifications for the war.
The Ukraine envoy said the same argument was given in Russia’s “so-called recognition” of separatist enclaves in the territory of Ukraine in Donbas’ Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts.
“So, it’s quite a normal legal way for us to show that really, the position of the Russian Federation is null and void, is absurd.
“And there is no genocide now committed by Ukrainian officials in the territory, both in Donbas and in general, the whole territory of Ukraine.”
Putin calls the war a “special military operation” to protect people “subjected to genocide” by Ukraine and to “demilitarize and denazify” the country.
Separatists backed by Russia have, since 2014, fought Ukraine’s forces in two eastern breakaway regions in the east of the country, which Russia has now recognized as states.
The Ukraine government says around 15,000 people have been killed in that conflict, which coincided with Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
Andalou with additional input by GVS