Foreign Ministry Statement on the interstate claim brought by Russia against Ukraine with the European Court of Human Rights
On July 22, 2021, the Russian Federation filed an interstate complaint against Ukraine to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) invoking Article 33 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).
This step is long overdue. The current situation in Ukraine leaves Russia no choice but to involve international courts. We are referring to the discrimination against the Russian-speaking population, including their deprivation of educational rights; the persecution of journalists and the media; the regular atrocities perpetrated against Donbass residents during the so-called antiterrorist operation carried out by Kiev against its own population; as well as the disastrous consequences of the Kiev regime’s actions for residents of Russian border regions, such as the water embargo of Crimea, as well as for other states – Ukraine was responsible for the MH17 crash through its failure to shut down its airspace. All the claims against Ukraine made in the Russian case are supported by a solid body of evidence that has been accumulated over the years.
The Russian government made this balanced decision based on many factors. Firstly, international agencies seem to entirely disregard the above-mentioned human rights violations in Ukraine; secondly, Ukraine continues to violate its obligations under international law, as well as its own Constitution; thirdly, the Ukrainian law enforcement and judicial systems have failed to properly investigate these egregious facts.
The Russian Federation has all the legal grounds to bring this case before the ECHR because it advocates for the European legal order. The ECHR underlies the entire value system of the Council of Europe, and all member states have a legal interest in maintaining it.
We call on the international community to finally heed what is happening in Ukraine. Russia's appeal to the ECHR is aimed, among other things, at providing the Court with full information about the atrocities committed by the Ukrainian authorities or with their connivance, leading to numerous violations of human rights guaranteed by the ECHR.
The large number of individual complaints filed with the ECHR, including about the events in southeastern Ukraine, is evidence of the huge scale of the human rights problem in that country.
We expect the ECHR to take an impartial and non-politicised attitude towards the Russian case, and the Court to make a thorough examination of the materials and evidence presented.