Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

2 May 201712:35

Comment by the Information and Press Department on statements by Ukrainian officials regarding the UN International Court of Justice’s decision on provisional measures

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We have noted the numerous comments of Ukrainian officials, various ‘experts’ and the media concerning the announcement of the April 19, 2017 decision of the International Court of Justice on provisional measures in the Ukrainian lawsuit against Russia under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The statements declare this decision ‘a clear victory’ and a ‘success’ for Kiev, as the Court, according to the Ukrainian side, allegedly demanded that Russia “cease the persecution of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian population of Crimea,” “reverse the decision to close the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people,” etc.

Adding to the Information and Press Department’s comment of April 20, we would like to note the following.

First of all, it must be emphasised that Ukraine’s accusations of Russia’s non-compliance with its obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism have been deemed improbable by the Court. Despite the lengthy preparations, the Ukrainian side was not able to provide any convincing evidence of such violations.

As for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, first, the International Court of Justice did not support any of the provisional measures requested by Ukraine, or the central argument in this part of Ukraine’s claim that Russia is allegedly “pursuing a policy of erasing the cultural identity of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities.”

Second, the text of the decision on provisional measures does not contain such words as ‘repression,’ ‘persecution,’ etc., to describe Russia’s actions toward Crimean Tatars or Ukrainians living in Crimea.

Third, contrary to Ukrainian statements, the International Court of Justice has not ordered the Russian Federation “to rescind the ban on the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.”

Fourth, the Court took a principled position and dismissed Ukraine's statement about the alleged ‘aggression’ and ‘invasion’ of Crimea as irrelevant to the essence of the case.

Fifth, the International Court of Justice disregarded part of Ukraine’s accusations against Russia as unjustified, including alleged ethnically motivated disappearances, murders and detentions in Crimea, persecution of the media and public organisations, prohibition of rallies and public events held by representatives of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities and the lack of access to education in the Crimean Tatar language.

Thus, it seems that Ukrainian officials are now mechanically reading out statements prepared long before the International Court of Justice made its ruling, without any regard for what the Court actually decided. We urge them to find the time to carefully read the order.

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