Ukraine has decided to sue Russia in international courts and to weaken its positions on the world stage. After the decision of the Stockholm arbitration, which obliged the Russian concern “Gazprom” to pay to the Ukrainian side a compensation of 2.9 billion U.S. dollars, in Kiev seriously wanted to demand that Moscow claims for the events in the Crimea and the Donbass. A full-scale legal war could last for decades. The seriousness of intentions of the President’s team of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky says the appearance of persons responsible for litigation with the “aggressor” and sanctions policy. How Ukrainian lawyers and diplomats are going to “sue a great power” and will support their West — to understand”.ru”.
at Sue great power
Attract Russia to justice “for all violations of international law” is a long — standing goal of Ukrainian politicians.
“I want the names of the legal advisers were inscribed in Golden letters in the history of international law. Because they are in the international courts will win great power and a permanent member of the UN security Council and a major violator of international law”, — said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, talking about the strategy of Kiev in confrontation with Moscow.
Collision on the legal front began in the presidency of Petro Poroshenko. In January 2017, it became known on the nomination of the Ukrainian party to the accusations against Russia about the violation of two UN conventions — on combating the financing of terrorism and on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. The then head of state stressed that the Kremlin is not the first year “violates international law, carries out the illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation of Donbas, implements the policies of destruction and discrimination in the annexed Peninsula”.
Since then, Ukrainian officials have not changed the rhetoric, not hiding what course of events they expect in the numerous litigation.
As noted in the comment to “lente.ru” Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management Ruslan Bortnik, the change of strategy affected significantly positive for Ukraine, the outcome of the case against “Gazprom”, which was considered by the Stockholm arbitration. “If earlier trials were seen with skepticism in terms of their feasibility and reality of execution of decisions, after the victory over the "Gazprom" the few who questioned the need to file lawsuits and seek mechanisms for restoration of rights, compensation of material damage. This case was a good example and motivator for Ukrainian lawyers and diplomats”, — said the analyst.
The foreign Ministry of Ukraine not hiding — the Russian side is “very sensitive” ��tositsa to all trials. The foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba emphasized that the loss in a particular dispute shall entail legal consequences that are hard to oppose in the political arena: “Because [they] understand that politics is politics, it is a struggle of narratives. But if you "get", even legally, you will have to pay. For years will be hard legal arguments”.
Strategically in a team Zelensky calculated to weaken the political and economic position of Russia. Lawsuits became almost the main instrument of pressure for building beneficial to the Ukrainian side of the dialogue with the Russian authorities. In the spring of mister Zelensky even put in charge of litigation in international courts against Russia, which became a high-ranking diplomat — Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs Evgeny ENIN. His assistant, was appointed Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Vsevolod Chentsov, member of the Ukrainian delegation to the hearings of the International court of justice cases against Russia.
New team will focus on several already running processes, as in connection with international conventions on the suppression of the financing of terrorism and on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, and dispute in the International Tribunal of the UN law of the sea about the incident in the Kerch Strait. The purpose of Kiev in all things — not just to achieve compensatory decisions, but to fix that Moscow’s behavior in a particular case violated the norms and principles of international law.
In the sphere of responsibility of the Ministry of justice of Ukraine there are five cases in the European court of human rights (ECHR). One of them concerns illegal actions in Crimea, two other violations of human rights on the uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, including the alleged abduction of children-orphans and children with disabilities representatives of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk national republics (DND and LNR).
"Shift" in Russia
Ukrainian politicians and diplomats, however, did not cease to complain about the problems in the processes. Key among them is the slowness of dispute resolution and the complexity of the execution of court decisions, especially those relating to economic disputes of the companies. The international proceedings last for years and to accelerate them does not, repeatedly lamented the Minister of justice of Ukraine Denis Malyuska. He noted that numerous complaints for too long under the consideration of their admissibility, which the hearings are postponed indefinitely.
But this does not prevent Kiev to prepare for new disputes. To sue against Moscow with��brings on so many incidents in recent years. In February, the justice Ministry officially announced its intention to sue Russia several claims without revealing the subject requirements. "Because the other side is also watching us. While we are at the stage of collecting evidence, reasoning. Let it be a surprise", — commented on the recent media information Maluska.
At the end of June the foreign Ministry of Ukraine began to discuss the possibility of filing lawsuits due to the launch of rail freight traffic on the Crimean bridge. The main argument for its construction started in 2016, was not obtained the consent of Ukrainian authorities. The Department believes that because the territory "temporarily occupied illegally", then to commit it to any action you must first obtain the approval of Kiev. So, said the Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs Emine dzhaparova, from a question of legality of construction of transport crossing through the Kerch Strait depends on the possibility of further operation of the bridge.
However, it is a question of the nearest future. While Ukrainian politicians console themselves with optimistic forecasts for cases which are currently pending. First of all, in the International court of justice in the Hague. In the beginning of the year the authority held by majority that the Russian side until December 8, shall prepare a response to the claim of Ukraine relating to recognition of Russia's actions in Donbas, in violation of the International Convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism, and in the Crimea — the International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
In November, the Court announced the recognition of its jurisdiction in the present case, and despite the arguments by the foreign Ministry on unscrupulous attempt of Ukraine to achieve opportunistic political objectives, considered the complaint admissible. And part of the claim of the Ukrainian side was satisfied earlier. In April 2017, the Court has obliged the Russian side to refrain from discrimination of the Crimean Tatars (including stop limit activities banned in Russia organization "the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people") and to provide the inhabitants of the Peninsula the education in the Ukrainian language.
In addition, the lawsuit contains a number of other claims to Russia, the main of which is to abandon the alleged support of the "armed groups committing acts of terrorism" in Ukraine. In other words, Kyiv insists that Moscow has not taken any measures to stop the supply of arms to the DNI and the LC. And thereby allegedly contributes to the tragic incidents that took place in the Donbas. The charges of Ukraine, include the shelling of residential areas in Mariupol and Kramatorsk, the destruction of a passenger bus near Volnovakha in January 2015, and the catastrophe of the Malaysian Boeing MH17.
Memorandum on the claim of Ukraine filed in June 2018. "He weighs about 90 pounds, consists of 17 500 pages of text and contains 29 volumes", — described his then Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin. Russian diplomats since the beginning of the process indicated that their colleagues are wrong interpretiruya the concept of "terrorism", do not provide any evidence about the Russian involvement in the events mentioned, and not trying to resolve the dispute in the pretrial order. Despite this, the international court of justice still proceeded to consideration of the merits.
The news about the transition to the next stage of the process has caused among the Ukrainian officials excitement and unprecedented euphoria. According to former Deputy foreign Minister Elena zerkal, the country has a good chance to win the debate and prove to the world that Russia is violating international law. In this case, she said, the Russian side should "shift the money."
a special Agent Gordon
A big political publicity attempt to attract Russia to justice at the Hague has given the controversial history of the popular Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon. After the interview live with the former Prosecutor of the Crimea Natalia Polonskaya, and then with eks-Minister of defence DND Igor Girkin (Strelkov), he said in his defense that he acted on the instructions of the security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with the purpose of recording evidence of illegal actions of Russia.
"the Interview was made by me in cooperation with the Ukrainian special services," said Gordon, adding, "stick with materials" are already in the Hague. The journalist did not hesitate to tell the Ukrainian public that the video will become evidence at the trial "in the case of the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of the carnage in the Donbas."
"no one in Ukraine is not questioned nor Natalia Polonskaya, nor Igor Girkin regarding treason and crimes that were committed by these people," reflected he.
However, we can say that the Hague is not waiting for: Gunmen, along with the Russians Oleg Pulatov, Sergey Dubinskiy and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko accused by the public Prosecutor's office in the crash of a passenger Boeing, EN route flight MH17. Now law enforcement officers call several scenarios for the disaster in the sky over the Donetsk region. Among them — explosion on Board, the attack of a military aircraft, the use of different anti-aircraft missile systems (SAMS), including "Buk". Presentation of the final conclusions of the investigation began June 8, after which a decision will be made about the transition to the consideration of the merits.
Ukraine remains interested in the recognition of the Russians guilty for many reasons, primarily because of the possibility to declare his own innocence to the tragedy and to point out their direct involvement in crimes during fierce fighting in its territory. The trial in the case of MH17 could become a turning episode in the Russian-Ukrainian legal confrontation — the basis for the new claims. It still Ukrainian law enforcers dream to start a large-scale process at the International criminal court (ICC). Despite the fact that Russia on the background of statements of bias of the Hague Tribunal was released in the fall of 2016 with the Rome Statute of the ICC agreement.
the project issue
In the Hague is another judicial authority, which complained Ukraine, — the Permanent court of arbitration (PCA). It is now considered the claim about Russia's use of natural resources in the waters of the Black and Azov seas. Ukraine declares unlawful assignments of the Odessa gas field reserves near Crimea and blocking their ports in transit through the Kerch Strait during the construction of the Crimean bridge. Hearings may begin next year if the PCA will reject Russia's objections on jurisdiction.
But the main Ukrainian "sea" requirement in the Hague, compensation for material and moral damage in connection with the detention of the FSB of Russia three military courts in November 2018 — boats "Berdyansk" and "Nikopol" and tug "Yana Kapu", returned to Kyiv on 18 November 2019. Evidence of violation of the Convention on the law of the sea Ukrainian lawyers gave may 22, filed a Memorandum with the claims in the international Tribunal of the UN.
On the same day, the Deputy head of the foreign Ministry of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin said that Kiev will begin to get "payment of adequate compensation" to the state, Navy and 24 sailors who returned home during the September exchange of detained persons. He stressed that Ukraine will insist "to the decision of the court of arbitration was clearly stated that the Russian side violated international Maritime law and that Russia in the future should refrain from such violations in the Ukrainian ships."
The size of the claims is not known, but diplomats say that it is about "millions of dollars". In the final amount of compensation is planned to include both material and moral harm to the sailors during the stay of 9.5 months in detention and the harm "caused to the state of Ukraine for the violation of her rights." The lawyers have not forgotten about the "loss" on Board the ships toilets and small interior items: money will be needed for the repair of ships, as well as the costs associated with the inability of their use of the Ukrainian Navy during g��Yes.
In the Department stressed that the judicial process is one of the most important elements of the country strategy for the protection of violated rights. The foreign Ministry of Ukraine believe that Russia "freeze" will not succeed. Anyway, decisions on "marine" and other cases, the Ukrainian side is not expected until 2022-2023 years. And this is only the beginning of a full-scale legal war, which may take many decades, if the parties fail to agree in the political arena. Because the number of claims and intricacy continues to grow rapidly. Which is a statement about the vast debts of Russia for the deployment of the black sea fleet in Crimea.
the Ukrainian "otvetka"
Count on the fact that the parties can agree, is not necessary. For Ukraine, trying to whatever was to build a national state, Russia is an existential enemy with whom dialog is impossible. Therefore, in addition to claims litigation, the Ukrainian officials do not forget about the diplomatic front.
"Another era of relations with Russia," was proclaimed long ago. From Kiev we hear statements that Russian diplomats for many years engaged in disinformation, insulting and groundlessly accusing Ukraine into a Russophobic policy. So, commenting on the Russian foreign Ministry with a critical evaluation of Zelensky on the post of the President of Ukraine, the foreign Minister Kuleba has promised to "answer" as long as Moscow is "afford".
"If you are beaten, must beat back" — short cut diplomat.
It is therefore not surprising that Russia's desire to raise the question of easing of sanctions to combat the coronavirus, Ukraine has responded by blocking attempts to "destroy the station" mode. On April 22 at the UN General Assembly, the Ukrainian delegation has blocked a draft resolution submitted by Russia jointly with China, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela and North Korea.
"To effectively fight the pandemic the world needs real solutions that will bear practical use. And certainly don't need a politicized resolution, which aim to ease the sanctions," — said on the same day Kuleba.
But the mere discussion of a possible relaxation of economic constraints, primarily imposed by the European Union, has forced the Ukrainian authorities to worry about and to take more significant measures. In may the foreign Ministry of Ukraine has a special representative for the sanctions policy, one of whose tasks will be increased international pressure on Russia as "state-aggressor". This position was appointed Alexey Makeev — political Director of the Ministry in whose sphere of responsibility includes the coordination of activitiesalnosti of Ministry and interaction with the partners of Ukraine in the sphere of sanctions.
According to the analyst Ruslan Bortnik, the emergence of a special envoy on sanctions is an attempt to effectively organize the work of the Ministry on anti-Russian track.
And no wonder, because the West is interested not less than in Ukraine in condemning Russian actions in the context of the confrontation on the world stage. However, in Kiev cautiously embraced the attempt of Moscow to begin during a pandemic to "shake" the issue of lifting the sanctions for a joint struggle with the virus. The recent conflict of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrei Melnik visual confirmation. And although the issue of lifting restrictions temporarily "extinguished", said Kuleba, he is in the "zone controlled risk", "of Course, the fall will begin again the moaning and debate. But this situation we observed in 2014, when before each semi-annual renewal of sanctions, the question arises: whether to renew or not they are effective".
So, the protracted fighting on all legal fronts will continue. Especially for team Zelensky she plays a major role in domestic politics, compensating for the absence of real progress on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbas and the solution "Crimean issue" in the eyes of the electorate. According to Ruslan Bortnik, the trials of winning for Ukraine for many reasons: "the decision of the International court of justice may weaken Russia's positions in relations with the West and create a precedent for the submission of new claims financial requirements, both from Ukraine and from Ukrainian citizens and legal entities". The chances of winning disputes in Ukraine really is. How far will a legal conflict, will be seen very soon.