The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague, Netherlands, on Wednesday ordered Russia to immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine. India judge voted against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while China’s judge opposed the order.
“The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend military operations that it commenced on February 24 on the territory of Ukraine.”Presiding Judge Joan Donoghue
The provisional measure was passed by 13 votes, however, two judges which includes Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian from Russia and Judge Xue Hanqin voted against the order. Indian Judge Justice Dalveer Bhandari voted against Russia’s invasion.
“We welcome the court order and call on the Russian Federation to comply with the order, immediately cease its military operations in Ukraine and to establish unhindered humanitarian access in Ukraine,” said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.
However, the court urged both Ukraine and Russia to refrain from any action which can increase the chances of war or extend the dispute before the court.
“Both parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the court or make it more difficult to resolve,” the court ordered unanimously.
The International Court of Justice expressed its regret over Russian Federation’s actions against Ukraine.
“The court regrets the decision taken by the Russian Federation not to participate in the oral proceedings on the request for the indication of provisional measures, as set out in the above mentioned letter of 5 March 2022. The non-appearance of a party has a negative impact on the sound administration of justice, as it deprives the court of assistance that a party could have provided to it. Nevertheless, the court must proceed in the discharge of its judicial function at any phase of the case.”
The court observed that under Article 9 of the Genocide Convention Act, Ukraine has a plausible right not to be subjected to military operation by Russian Federation for the purpose of preventing and punishing an alleged genocide in the territory of Ukraine.
It further added that any military action in particular one on the scale carried out by the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, inevitably causes loss of life, mental and bodily harm and damage to property and to the environment.
The court also noted that the civilian population of Ukraine is affected by the present conflict and is extremely vulnerable.
“The civilian population affected by the present conflict is extremely vulnerable. The “special military operation” being conducted by the Russian Federation has resulted in numerous civilian deaths and injuries. It has also caused significant material damage, including the destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Attacks are ongoing and are creating increasingly difficult living conditions for the civilian population. Many people have no access to the most basic foodstuffs, potable water, electricity, essential medicines or healing. A very large number of people are attempting to flee from the most affected cities under extremely insecure conditions.”
The Ukrainian agents had mentioned in the ICJ that their country is facing a war of aggression initiated by Russia which have put lives of millions of people in danger.
The application filed by Ukraine accused Russia of “planning acts of genocide in Ukraine and it is intentionally killing and inflicting serious injuries on members of the Ukrainian nationality (the actual reuse of genocide under Article II of the Convention)”.
The International Court of Justice had heard Ukraine’s application seeking a declaration that claims genocide as alleged by Russia within Ukrainian oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk are false on March 7.
The International Court of Justice was approached to urgently indicate provisional measures in light of the situation in Ukraine in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his neighbouring country.
- Provisional Measures sought by Ukraine
a. The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations commenced on 24 February 2022 that have as their stated purpose and objective the prevention and punishment of a claimed genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine.
- b. The Russian Federation shall immediately ensure that any military or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control, direction or influence, take no steps in furtherance of the military operations which have as their stated purpose and objective preventing or punishing Ukraine for committing genocide.
- c. The Russian Federation shall refrain from any action and shall provide assurances that no action is taken that may aggravate or extend the dispute that is the subject of this Application, or render this dispute more difficult to resolve.
- d. The Russian Federation shall provide a report to the Court on measures taken to implement the Court’s Order on Provisional Measures one week after such Order and then on a regular basis to be fixed by the Court.