STATEMENT BY THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CONCERNING THE RULING OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN STRASBOURG ON THE "CASE OF ILASCU"
Unofficial translation from Russian
STATEMENT BY THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Concerning the Ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on the "Case of Ilascu"
In connection with the ruling on the "case of Ilascu" Moscow expresses bewilderment at the inconsistency, contradictoriness, subjectivity and the obvious political engagement of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Juridically this verdict, mildly speaking, is far from irreproachable.
First of all, under the Federal Law on Ratification of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Protocols Thereto, the Russian Federation recognizes the jurisdiction of the Court as binding where presumed violations of the Convention and the Protocols took place after their entry into force for Russia. Whereas the instrument of ratification had been transmitted to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on May 5, 1998, the "case of Ilascu" events occurred long before this date, i.e., before the entry of the Convention into force for Russia. This is also recognized in the ruling by the Court itself.
In this connection we consider it appropriate to recall that, according to UN General Assembly Resolution 56/83 of December 12, 2001, no act of a state is a violation of an international legal obligation unless this obligation binds this state during the commission of the act.
It is also regretful, the conscious manipulation by Court members of major legal notions, which is another sign of the practice of "double standards." Whereas in the case involving the bombings of Yugoslavia by the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, the Court took up the defense of the NATO nations, using as a cover the principles of territorial jurisdiction, in the "case of Ilascu" the same Court employed in its interests the opposite principle of exterritorial jurisdiction, actually proceeding from the false premise that on the territory of Transnistria jurisdiction is being exercised by the Russian Federation.
It is obvious to all, except the Court, that the continually diminishing presence of the several hundred Russian troops guarding storage facilities of military equipment left after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and performing peacekeeping functions based on the relevant agreement with Moldova can't be an instrument of any "control" on a territory of almost 1 million inhabitants.
The names of the victims of the actions of Ilascu and his group are well known. Yet the European Court not only refused the admission to the proceedings as a third party of Russian Federation citizen Lyudmila Gusar, the widow of one of those killed, but also did not allow her to testify to the Court. Nor was the complaint considered from Gusar herself about the inaction of the authorities of Romania and Moldova.
To our deep regret, the members of the Court went as far as using evidence illegally obtained.
All this is not even "double standards," but methods unworthy of any judicial body.
The strange logic of the Court's ruling also has not escaped our attention. It demands that Russia immediately release the applicants in prison, while any of our steps in this direction would be a gross interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign state of Moldova. This ruling is contrary to the United Nations Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States, of December 9, 1981.
Russia has always fulfilled and will continue to fulfill its international obligations, including the rulings of the European Court. At the same time, this does not change our attitude to the ruling on the "case of Ilascu," which we regard as erroneous and obviously politicized.
July 8, 2004