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ICJ minimally condemns Russia in case brought by Ukraine

Russia has been condemned by the International Court of Justice for violating the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, but only minimally. Larissa van den Herik, Professor of International Law, discusses the case with Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

Ukraine has accused Russia of violating the rules of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. According to Ukraine, Russia provided pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine with arms, training and money. However, the Court stated that the provision of arms and training falls outside of the scope of the Convention and that it does not consider it to have been proven that funds were used with terrorist intent. Complaints relating to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination were also deemed largely unproven, with the exception of the complaint concerning the provision of training in the Ukrainian language.

‘The problem for Ukraine was that, due to the Court's limited jurisdiction, it was only able to complain to the Court about violations of specific conventions,’ says Van den Herik.

Russia does not recognise the Court’s jurisdiction when it comes to the annexation of Crimea or the occupation of eastern Ukraine. However, that is not to say that Russia is off the hook on these issues.

‘The Court does acknowledge that Russia worsened matters by initiating an aggressive war, while the Court had previously ordered Russia not to do anything that would aggravate the situation. The Court established that Russia had ignored this order. There are no further consequences to this besides the Court’s finding,’ Van den Herik says.

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Read the full NOS article (in Dutch)

Photo: Rafael Ishkhanyan through Unsplash

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