Moscow and kyiv face each other from this Monday before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in a procedure launched by Ukraine which accuses Russia of having wrongly used allegations of genocide to justify its invasion in 2022. And Moscow threw the first stone, calling the Ukrainian government “Russophobic and neo-Nazi “. Russian President Vladimir Putin had partly justified this military operation launched on February 24 by accusations of “genocide” orchestrated by kyiv in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
Two days later, on February 26, 2022, kyiv seized the ICJ, “categorically denying” this ertion and arguing that Russia’s use as a pretext of a ” genocide » went against the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.
One of Moscow’s representatives, Gennady Kuzmin, the first Russian diplomat to address the court in the case, criticized Kiev for not being “further from the truth” in claiming that Russia had invoked the Convention of United Nations on genocide as a reason to launch its war against its neighbor. Mere “statements” about genocide cannot be upheld under international law, including the Genocide Convention, Gennady Kuzmin argued.
Dispute over the legitimacy of the ICJ
“As for the concerns expressed with regard to the threat of genocide, as I indicated, they should not be surprising given the policies pursued by the Kiev regime, firmly anchored in Nazi history, doctrines and practices “, declared Gennady Kuzmin, in front of the judges and separated by only a few meters from senior Ukrainian officials.
Ukraine’s legal position is “untenable” and “goes against the well-established jurisprudence” of the Court, the Russian diplomat concluded.
More generally, the case heard at the sumptuous Peace Palace in The Hague concerns a dispute over the legitimacy of the highest court of the UN to order the end of the conflict in Ukraine. Gennady Kuzmin urged the court to dismiss the case, arguing that the UN Genocide Convention focuses on the “prevention and suppression” of genocide, which does not apply to Ukraine’s case.
“Ukraine does not accuse Russia of having committed or will commit genocide. Ukraine also does not accuse Russia of failing or failing in its obligation to prevent or punish genocide,” the Russian diplomat said. “On the contrary, Ukraine insists that no genocide was committed. This fact alone could be enough to reject Ukraine’s requests because according to the court’s jurisprudence, in the absence of genocide, there cannot have been a violation of the Genocide Convention,” he said.
More than 30 countries auditioned
kyiv must respond on Tuesday to the arguments put forward by Moscow. In March 2022, the ICJ sided with Ukraine, ordering Russia to “immediately suspend” its ongoing military operations in Ukraine. This emergency provision called a “conservatory measure” was issued by the judges pending a decision on the jurisdiction of the court to rule on the case.
Moscow has so far snubbed this court’s hearings in this case, claiming not to have had enough time to prepare its arguments. More than 30 other countries – all Western allies of Ukraine – will also have the opportunity to intervene in kyiv’s favor over the coming days.
The hearings will continue until September 27. After these, the judges will decide whether the Court has jurisdiction to judge the case. This decision making could take me