Kremlin, As Expected, Rejects ICJ Ruling To Halt Ukraine Invasion

The Kremlin has rejected an order by the United Nations’ highest court to cease its attack on Ukraine, saying both sides had to agree to end the hostilities for the ruling to be implemented.

Speaking to reporters on March 17, the day after The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced the decision saying it was “profoundly concerned” by Moscow’s unprovoked invasion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on March 17 that Russia “cannot take this decision into account.”

ICJ justices voted 13-2 in favor of the order, which stems from a case filed by Kyiv over Russian allegations of genocide by Ukraine, which Moscow used as one of its pretenses to launch the invasion on February 24.

But Peskov said that “no consent [from both sides] can be obtained in this case,” thus the ruling was not valid.

The ICJ justices also ruled by a 13-2 vote that Moscow must ensure that “any military or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control or direction, take no steps in furtherance of the military operations referred to in point.”

Both rulings were ordered pending a final decision in the case.

The court also said both parties must “refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the court or make it more difficult to resolve.”

The ICJ resolves legal complaints submitted by states over alleged breaches of international law. It is the supreme judicial institution of the United Nations.

While its decisions are binding, Moscow was not expected to heed the court’s decision after it boycotted a hearing on the case earlier this month and argued in a written filing that the court didn’t have jurisdiction. It also said it was acting in self-defense with the invasion.

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