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Hague Court to start hearings of Ukraine case against Russia on March 6 (Live stream)

The Hague-based International Court of Justice will start hearings on Monday, March 6, on the Ukraine case concerning Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine vs. Russian Federation), according to an UNIAN correspondent in The Hague.

Photo from UNIAN
Photo from UNIAN

The hearings will be held from March 6 to March 9; the Ukrainian side will be heard first.

Wednesday, March 8, will be scheduled for Ukraine, whereas Russia will testify on Thursday, March 9.

The event will take place in the form of open hearings in the Peace Palace, which was officially opened in 1913.

The International Court of Justice, which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations, will consider Kyiv's request to introduce provisional measures against Russia.

Ukraine instituted proceedings against the Russian Federation on January 16, 2017, with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism of December 9, 1999, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of December 21, 1965.

Both states are parties to these two instruments.

Poroshenko appoints envoy to represent Ukraine at ICJ hearings in suit against RussiaIn particular, Ukraine contends that, following the Orange Revolution of 2004, it has been subjected to increasing degrees of Russian pressure and intimidation. According to Ukraine, since 2014 the Russian Federation has escalated its interference in Ukrainian affairs to dangerous new levels, "intervening militarily in Ukraine, financing acts of terrorism, and violating the human rights of millions of Ukraine's citizens, including, for all too many, their right to life." It states that in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Federation has instigated and sustained an armed insurrection against the authority of the Ukrainian State. Ukraine considers that, by its actions, the Russian Federation is in violation of fundamental principles of international law, including those enshrined in the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism ("Terrorism Financing Convention").

Furthermore, in its Application, Ukraine contends that, in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and City of Sevastopol, the Russian Federation has "brazenly defied the U.N. Charter, seizing a part of Ukraine's sovereign territory by military force." Ukraine states that, "in an attempt to legitimize its act of aggression, the Russian Federation engineered an illegal 'referendum' which it rushed to implement amid a climate of violence and intimidation against non-Russian ethnic groups." According to Ukraine, this "deliberate campaign of cultural erasure, beginning with the invasion and referendum and continuing to this day," violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ("CERD").

With regard to the Terrorism Financing Convention, in paragraphs 134 to 136 of its Application,"[134.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, and through other agents acting on its instructions or under its direction and control, has violated its obligations under the Terrorism Financing Convention by:

(a) Supplying funds, including in-kind contributions of weapons and training, to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DPR, the LPR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals, in violation of Article 18;

(b) Failing to take appropriate measures to detect, freeze, and seize funds used to assist illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DPR, the LPR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals, in violation of Articles 8 and 18;

(c) Failing to investigate, prosecute, or extradite perpetrators of the financing of terrorism found within its territory, in violation of Articles 9, 10, 11, and 18;

(d) Failing to provide Ukraine with the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal investigations of the financing of terrorism, in violation of Articles 12 and 18; and

(e) Failing to take all practicable measures to prevent and counter acts of financing of terrorism committed by Russian public and private actors, in violation of Article 18.

[135.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation bears international responsibility, by virtue of its sponsorship of terrorism and failure to prevent the financing of terrorism under the Convention, for the acts of terrorism committed by its proxies in Ukraine, including:

(a) The shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17;

(b) The shelling of civilians, including in Volnovakha, Mariupol, and Kramatorsk;

and

(c) The bombing of civilians, including in Kharkiv.

[136.] Ukraine respectfully requests the Court to order the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations under the Terrorism Financing Convention, including that the Russian Federation:

(a) Immediately and unconditionally cease and desist from all support, including the provision of money, weapons, and training, to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DPR, the LPR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals;

(b) Immediately make all efforts to ensure that all weaponry provided to such armed groups is withdrawn from Ukraine;

(c) Immediately exercise appropriate control over its border to prevent further acts of financing of terrorism, including the supply of weapons, from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Ukraine;

(d) Immediately stop the movement of money, weapons, and all other assets from the territory of the Russian Federation and occupied Crimea to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DPR, the LPR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals, including by freezing all bank accounts used to support such groups;

(e) Immediately prevent all Russian officials from financing terrorism in Ukraine, including Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Vice-Chairman of the State Duma; Sergei Mironov, member of the State Duma; and Gennadiy Zyuganov, member of the State Duma, and initiate prosecution against these and other actors responsible for financing terrorism;

(f) Immediately provide full cooperation to Ukraine in all pending and future requests for assistance in the investigation and interdiction of the financing of terrorism relating to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in Ukraine, including the DPR, the LPR, the Kharkiv Partisans, and associated groups and individuals;

(g) Make full reparation for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17;

(h) Make full reparation for the shelling of civilians in Volnovakha;

(i) Make full reparation for the shelling of civilians in Mariupol;

(j) Make full reparation for the shelling of civilians in Kramatorsk;

(k) Make full reparation for the bombing of civilians in Kharkiv; and

(l) Make full reparation for all other acts of terrorism the Russian Federation has caused, facilitated, or supported through its financing of terrorism, and failure to prevent and investigate the financing of terrorism."

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