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Moscow Hails ICJ Ruling On Ukraine

Soldiers in Donetsk
Soldiers in Donetsk

Russia's Foreign Ministry has hailed a ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague rejecting Ukraine's request to order Moscow to stop supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine said in a case filed at the ICJ in January that Russia had stepped up its interference in Ukraine's affairs since 2014, "intervening militarily...financing acts of terrorism and violating the human rights of millions of Ukraine's citizens, including, for all too many, their right to life."

But the court on April 19 said in its ruling that “the conditions required for the indication of provisional measures,” as requested by Ukraine in order to block Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, “are not met."

Judges at the International Court of Justice on Ukraine's case against Russia on April 19.
Judges at the International Court of Justice on Ukraine's case against Russia on April 19.

In a statement on April 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the ICJ "also called on all parties to the dispute to implement in full the Minsk agreements, recalling that these agreements were approved and signed by representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk in particular, a fact that Ukraine attempts to deny."

Moscow seized control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and has supported the separatists in a war that has killed more than 9,900 people in eastern Ukraine since April of that year.

"It is important that the court has taken a principled stand and did not support Ukraine’s claims about supposed ‘aggression’ and ‘occupation,' and on the status of Crimea as a matter not relevant to the substance of the dispute," the Russian Foreign Ministry's April 20 statement said.

However, the ICJ did issue a provisional ruling calling for a halt to what it says is "racial discrimination" against Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called the ICJ ruling "very promising."

"The international court in The Hague recognized its jurisdiction over both court cases. We are confident that today we are pursuing the right course, and hope for a successful hearing of these cases," Poroshenko said during a visit to London.

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