The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has agreed to hear claims by Ukraine related to the conflict in the east of the country, where Government forces have been fighting mostly pro-Russian separatists, for more than five years.
In an application to the Court filed in January, Ukraine alleged that Russia had violated its obligations under two international treaties on terrorism financing and racial discrimination.
Russia responded in September by raising five preliminary objections concerning the Court’s jurisdiction and the admissibility of the application. The ICJ judges on Friday found the Court can entertain Ukraine’s claims under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
Ukraine had alleged that Russia supplied funds, weapons and training to illegal armed groups that engage in acts of terrorism in its territory. Relatedly, that Russia also allegedly caused or supported the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, among other violent acts.
ICJ judges also decided the court could move ahead on Ukraine’s claims concerning violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Ukraine has accused Russia of discrimination and mistreatment of Crimean Tartar and ethnic Ukrainian communities in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
ICJ: Key facts
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
It settles legal disputes submitted by States, and also gives advisory opinions on legal questions referred by UN organs and agencies.
The Court is composed of 15 judges and is based in The Hague, in the Netherlands.