Ukraine Appeals to U.N. High Court in Claim of Russian-Sponsored Terror


Ukraine is asking the United Nation’s International Court of Justice to investigate its claim that Russia is sponsoring terrorism by funding and arming rebels in that country.

“Kiev will seek to convince the UN’s top court that Moscow is ‘sponsoring terrorism’ in a bloody conflict involving separatist pro-Russian rebels, as tensions escalate in war-torn eastern Ukraine,” Agency France-Presse (AFP) reported on Monday, adding that Ukraine will also request that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) adopt “emergency measures” to cut Russian activities in the east of the country, including “funnelling of money, weapons and personnel” and “‘discrimination’ of minorities in Russian-occupied Crimea.”

The AFP report also said that Kiev will seek compensation for the impact the almost three-year conflict has had on the civilian population.

Russia has long denied any involvement in the conflict.

“Ukraine lodged its case against its former Soviet master at the court based in The Hague in mid-January, saying it has protested for several years against Moscow’s alleged financing of separatist rebels battling Ukrainian government forces,” AFP reported, adding the Moscow has not responded to efforts to resolve the conflict.

The ongoing conflict has claimed some 10,000 lives in eastern Ukraine following Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s southern peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

“Rare talks between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the past month have proved ‘fruitless’ the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement Thursday,” AFP reported.

“The talks came amid an upsurge in violence, which killed 35 people in early February, centered around the government-held town of Avdiivka near rebel bastion Donetsk,” AFP reported.

In its filing with the UN court, Ukrainian officials said Russia “brazenly defied” the UN Charter by seizing the Crimean Peninsula and of discrimination against minorities.

“It accuses Russia of discriminating against Crimean minorities such as Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians including conducting what it termed a campaign of ‘cultural erasure’ against these groups,” AFP reported.

“A Russian embassy official told AFP that a “broad delegation” of some 35 officials including ‘members of different agencies, experts and lawyers’ will be present at the four days of hearings, which open Monday and are due to end on Thursday,” according to AFP.

The ICJ was established by the United Nations in 1945 to resolve disputes between countries.

“While UN member nations are bound to abide by the decisions of the ICJ, in reality whatever decision the court reaches is unlikely to have much concrete effect on the ground,” AFP reported.