In the hall of the Grand chamber of the European court of human rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on Wednesday started hearing the case “against Ukraine”. The trial was preceded by a lawsuit filed by Kyiv in March 2014, more than five years ago and immediately after the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to Russia.
Ukraine accuses Russia of violating several articles of the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in particular the right to life, freedom of speech and movement. Russia denies the charges, says DW.
Observers say that for the consideration of such inter-state Affairs for five years – a short period of time. The court already has experience of such cases-for example, “Georgia against Russia” or “Cyprus against Turkey”.
Ukraine claims that Moscow de facto occupied Crimea on 27 February 2014. Then was captured by the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. According to Russian position, prior to March 18, 2014 Crimea is still acting Ukrainian legislation. Besides, as stated by the Deputy Minister of justice Mikhail Galperin, the annexation of Crimea, or, as he put it, “joining the Crimea to Russia” is not within the competence of the ECHR .
The Ombudsman of the Russian Federation at the ECHR Michael Galperin and British lawyer Michael Swainston insisted in court that the jurisdiction of Russia over the Crimea began not earlier than March 18, 2014 (the day of the signing of the Treaty in the Kremlin on the adoption of the “Republic of Crimea” into the Russian Federation), a new “poslemaydannoy” the government in Kiev was illegitimate, the presence of Russian troops in Crimea did not violate the Treaty of friendship, cooperation and partnership between the two countries from 1997, and was higher than allowed by the contract. Moreover, the Russian military allegedly helped to prevent violence.
Halperin and English lawyer has repeatedly stressed that “case” advocacy of Ukraine and is under a political motivation. About documented cases of human rights defenders persecution of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar activists after the annexation of the representatives of Russia talked about the “weak evidence” and, in General, unfounded such allegations. Such administrative practice, argued the Russian defendants, absent, that is, cases of human rights violations is not systematic. Although numerous reports by international human rights organizations say otherwise.
On the facts of the persecution of activists in the Crimea drew the attention of the Office of the UN high Commissioner for human rights and the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The British Ukrainian state lawyer Ben Emmerson after the hearings and called the arguments voiced by the Russian side, “inconclusive”. He also reminded about the need to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the Crimea.
Recall that in late 2013 and early 2014 in Ukraine began mass protests after the government slowed down the process of European integration. Many months of mass protest resulted in clashes with law enforcement officers. After the protesters managed to capture several administrative buildings, and to suppress the protest failed, even the use of firearms, the President Viktor Yanukovych in late February, ran outside Ukraine and found refuge in Russia.
In March 2014, with the participation of the Russian military were carried out the change of power in the Ukrainian Crimea and then held a referendum on joining Russia. “Due to the high moral and volitional qualities, good training and endurance of officers and soldiers managed in a peaceful and tranquil setting to hold a referendum. The population of the Crimea, to assess the correctness and high level of professional training of personnel of the Armed forces, with gratitude called the Russian military “polite people”, – stated in the report of the defense Ministry, which in late 2014 was briefed Vladimir Putin.
The referendum was attended by more than 80% of eligible voters. For reunification with Russia voted 96.7% and 95.6% of residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, respectively. 18 Mar 2014 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a Treaty accepting the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, and on March 21 it was ratified by the Federal Assembly.
Ukraine considers Crimea as temporarily occupied territory. And the international community as a whole appreciates the actions of Russia as annexation and aggression against Ukraine. The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly did not recognize Russian ownership of the Crimea. The position of Russia was supported only by Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
In connection with the territorial dispute over Crimea Ukraine, USA, European Union and other countries imposed a series of sanctions against Russia, Russian businessmen and politicians, who visited the Crimea public figures and leading business on the Peninsula companies, both from Russia and from other countries. The fear of new sanctions was so great that in the Crimea, and 5 years after his rejection from the Ukraine refuse to work even the giants of Russian business, which is closely associated with the state (for example, Sberbank). However, Moscow believes that the question of supplies of Crimea is closed once and for all. “The issue is closed forever; there was a referendum,” – said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.