Yesterday, Monday, Russia asked the International Court of Justice of the UN, in The Hague, to dismiss the case on genocide initiated by Ukraine. The hearings, which will last until September 27, will focus on the objections presented by Moscow, and will not go into the substance of the matter.
The case was filed on February 26, 2022, two days after the Kremlin entered the neighboring country with tanks and soldiers. Kyiv disputes in the lawsuit Moscow's argument that the military intervention was carried out to prevent a genocide in the Donbass (eastern Ukraine), and alleged that Moscow was planning acts of genocide in Ukraine.
Ukraine declared that "Russia has reversed the Genocide Convention" when it falsely accused Ukraine of committing genocide. Then the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, described the demand as "perverse logic" and accused Western countries of abusing the rules of international justice.
Kyiv asks the court to order Russia to stop the invasion and pay reparations. In an interim ruling in March 2022, the court ordered Russia to stop hostilities, but Moscow ignored it and continued with what it calls a "special military operation" that has lasted more than 18 months.
In October 2022, Russia submitted preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court in this case. Consequently, the procedure on the merits was suspended.
The Russian diplomat Gennadi Kuzmín stated yesterday in The Hague that this Court has no jurisdiction because he considers that there is no dispute about this particular convention. He assured that Kyiv does not accuse Russia of "committing a genocide, nor does it accuse it of not preventing or punishing" genocidal acts. "Even Ukraine insists that there was no genocide", which, according to the Russian agent, "should be reason enough, by itself, to reject the case, because, if there was no genocide, there is no there may be a violation of the Convention against Genocide”.
Russian officials continue to accuse Ukraine of committing genocide in the Donbass region, where Kyiv troops have been fighting pro-Russian forces since 2014. On Monday, they repeated accusations that "the Russophobic and neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv" is using the Convention against the Genocide as a pretext to bring Moscow to court.
In June of this year, the body authorized 32 states to join Ukraine's lawsuit against Russia. After Moscow, who took the floor yesterday; and Kyiv, which is doing so today, Wednesday, September 20, will listen to the Western countries allied to Ukraine, among which are Canada, Australia and all the members of the European Union, except Hungary.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its position against its inclusion in the case, and alleged that they are in favor of Ukraine and that they are trying to pressure the Court. Nevertheless, the Court did accept Moscow's opposition to the accession of the United States.
The 15 judges of the UN's International Court of Justice, the only international court that adjudicates disputes between countries, will take weeks or months to reach a decision on whether the case can proceed. If the decision is favorable to proceed, it may take several years to get a final verdict.