ICJ rejects Kiev’s claim to recognize Russia as aggressor state

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the International Court of Justice dismissed Ukraine’s demand to designate Russia as an “aggressor state.”

  • A view of the Peace Palace housing the International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ top court in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, January 31, 2024. (AP)

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Kiev’s claim to recognize Russia as an “aggressor state” and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) as “terrorist organizations.” 
Earlier in the day, the ICJ rejected most of the claims raised by Ukraine against Russia under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in Crimea, Court President Joan Donoghue said. 
“The International Court of Justice did not follow Kiev’s whim and refused to recognize Russia as an ‘aggressor state.’ The court also rejected Ukrainian insinuations that the DPR and LPR are allegedly ‘terrorist organizations,'” the statement said. 

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The ministry’s statement added that Kiev aimed to use the court claim to support its demands for the transfer of Russian assets frozen in the West and the introduction of international restrictions against Russia.
Ukraine filed the lawsuit with the ICJ in 2017, accusing Russia of violating international conventions on anti-terrorism and racial discrimination over actions in the Donbass and Crimea. 

What did the court conclude? 

The ICJ determined that “Russia violated the anti-discrimination treaty” through its implementation of the educational system in Crimea post-2014, specifically regarding school education in the Ukrainian language. The court dismissed all other allegations.
Concerning the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the court concluded that Russia neglected to implement measures for investigating facts related to individuals who were purportedly involved in an offense. The court rejected all other contentions put forth by Ukraine under this treaty.

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The Hague-based court also determined that Russia had diligently met its responsibilities to collaborate in the efforts against terrorism financing. This included fulfilling obligations to identify and obstruct funds utilized for financing terrorism.

Moreover, the ICJ opted not to pass judgment on Kiev’s allegations regarding Russia being responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

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