06.03.17 18:17

Ukraine's Zerkal requests ICJ's immediate order to stop Russia's abuses

Ukraine asked the International Court of Justice to order Russia to stop funding and equipping pro-Russian separatists in the occupied Donbas until the judges have heard the case in full.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Reuters, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal said on the first of four days of hearings at the United Nations' highest court of where Ukraine hopes to prove Moscow is breaking international law.

"Today I stand before the World Court to request protection of the basic human rights of Ukrainian people," she said.

Read more: Ukraine at ICJ: Civilian casualties in Donbas caused by Russia's backing of terrorism

Zerkal requested an immediate court order to stop what she called Russia's abuses until the judges have heard the case in full. The U.N. court takes years to hear cases. Although its rulings are final and binding, it has no means of enforcement.

Zerkal's request for so-called provisional measures, included a halt of transfers of money, weapons, vehicles, equipment, training or personnel to pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukrainian government forces.

"Russian Federation tactics include support for terrorism and acts of racial discrimination, as well as propaganda, subversion, intimidation, political corruption and cyber attacks," she told the judges, citing new attacks in recent weeks..

See more: ICJ starts hearing of Ukraine case against Russia. PHOTOS

As reported by Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, Ukraine said in a court filing that since 2014, Russia has stepped up its interference in Ukraine's affairs, "intervening militarily…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 said Kyiv is seeking "full reparations for... acts of terrorism the Russian Federation has caused, facilitated, or supported," citing bombardments of residential areas and the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed all 298 passengers and crew.

Ukraine also accuses Russia of mistreating Crimea's Tatar and ethnic Ukrainian populations since it seized control of the peninsula.

The first round of hearings, expected to run until March 9, will largely consist of procedural matters. Ukraine began speaking on the first day, while Russia is expected to speak on the second.

Georgia brought a similar case against Russia, but the court ruled in 2011 that it had no jurisdiction. Experts said Russia is likely to argue that the court does not have jurisdiction in this case, as well.
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