The Netherlands defended Ukraine at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Wednesday. Kiev says Russia violated a UN treaty by accusing Ukraine of genocide. 31 other countries also supported Ukraine.
All countries that support Ukraine will be allowed to speak at the Peace Palace in The Hague on Wednesday. The Netherlands, like the countries that spoke previously, claimed that Russia violated the Genocide Convention when it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Russia justified its invasion by saying that the invasion was necessary to prevent genocide in eastern Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels have been fighting Ukrainian armed forces in that region since 2014.
Ukraine went to the International Court of Justice in The Hague a few days after the invasion. According to the country, Russia abused international agreements with false claims to justify the invasion.
States may not simply accuse each other of genocide
Russia and Ukraine already spoke on Monday and Tuesday. Russia then demanded that the case be stopped. According to that country, the International Court of Justice should not rule on this case because Russia did not explicitly mention the treaty when it began the “special military operation.”
The Netherlands, which is working with Canada on this case, believes that the case belongs to this court, because it concerns a dispute between two countries. The Netherlands also maintains that this is a violation of the UN treaty.
If one state accuses another of genocide and takes action, those steps must be evaluated in accordance with the treaty, René Lefebvre said. The Foreign Ministry’s legal advisor spoke on behalf of the Netherlands in the courtroom.
For the first time, many countries are speaking out
Germany, Australia, Sweden and others spoke on behalf of the Netherlands. More countries will follow in the afternoon.
This is the first time that such a large number of countries have spoken publicly in a case before the International Court of Justice. This, according to the speakers, shows how important it is for them to consider this issue.
Last year, the International Court of Justice proved that no genocide had occurred in eastern Ukraine. Therefore, Russia, in a preliminary ruling, ordered the invasion to be halted. Moscow did not do so.
Ukraine hopes that the previous court ruling will now be confirmed.
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