The International Court in The Hague (Netherlands) nevertheless received a response from Russia on Ukraine’s genocide lawsuit. Recall that our country believes that the very concept of “genocide” was distorted in the Russian Federation – President Vladimir Putin used this word in his speech before the invasion of Ukraine.
In Russia, they tried to justify themselves by saying that Putin used the concept of “genocide” not as a definition given by the Genocide Convention but as “a concept of international custom or national legislation.” However, we note that genocide is defined in the same way in all these cases. The Russian service of the BBC writes about this, and the response of the Russian Federation was previously published on the website of the court.
In addition, Russia claims that it allegedly based its actions on the norms of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense and the right of nations to self-determination. The Russian Federation decided not to specify which specific nation supposedly should have this right in the “LPR” and “DPR”, the Russian Federation chose not to specify.
The aggressor also stated that the court could not consider the issue of the legality of his use of force in Ukraine since it allegedly does not fall under its jurisdiction.
Position of Ukraine
Our country claims that Russia is distorting the concept of “genocide” to try to justify its aggression against Ukraine. Our side also informed the tribunal that no genocide was carried out on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and therefore Moscow has no right to use this concept as a basis for starting a war.
“Ukraine complains that Russia is using an obvious misinterpretation of the Convention, and in fact is abusing the genocide convention as a pretext for conducting a military operation. Russia believes that Ukraine’s goal is the destruction of the Russian-speaking population, which is not confirmed by anything,” the report said.
At the hearing, the Ukrainian side reminded the court that the death of civilians cannot be considered genocide in the absence of evidence of intent to destroy an ethnic group. She also drew attention to the fact that the Russian-speaking residents of Mariupol, which Russia is now destroying, do not support the actions of the Russian Federation, which allegedly wants to “protect the people of Donbass from genocide”.
What can the court answer
The international law expert, who wished to remain anonymous, believes that the court will still take interim measures in the next few weeks and order that Russia stop hostilities.
At the same time, the question of the court’s jurisdiction, in this case, is ambiguous, but the court will most likely begin to consider these arguments of the Russian Federation later.
If Russia took part in the hearings, the court could accept Russian arguments.