UN court allows 32 countries to join Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has accepted requests from 32 countries to support Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia concerning violations of the Genocide Convention.

Twenty-six EU member states, except Hungary, as well as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom joined the suit. These countries have until July 5 to confirm their admission to the process and present their position on the case. At the same time, the U.S. was refused to participate in the hearing at the stage of preliminary consideration of the parties’ objections.

Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice a few days after the start of the war in February 2022. It said Russia had violated the 1948 Convention by falsely accusing Ukraine of genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and using that as a pretext to invade. Kyiv demanded that Moscow be held accountable “for manipulating the concept of genocide” and urged it to cease hostilities.

The court sided with Ukraine. However, it specified that the ruling was a “temporary measure” aimed at freezing the situation until a final decision on the dispute was made. Russia refused to participate in the process and stop the military actions – the Foreign Ministry said that the UN court “has no jurisdiction to consider the issue of special operations”.

In May, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia considers the actions of Western countries, which are trying to enter the UN International Court of Justice on the side of Ukraine, as “an attempt of open blackmail and pressure. He also said that the lawsuit itself was “based on a twisted logic”.

In July, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Kyiv once again appealed to the court regarding Russia’s violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The International Court of Justice was established after World War II to consider disputes between UN member states. Its decisions are binding, but it has no means to compel countries to implement them.

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