Now the court will proceed to consider the merits of the case.
The European Court of Human Rights ( ECHR ) today announced the decision on the admissibility of the interstate case “Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia” on Russia’s violation of human rights in the territories of Donbas occupied by it since 2014.
As Margarita Sokorenko, Commissioner of the European Court of Human Rights, reported on Facebook , the court will now proceed to consider the merits of the case.
“The ECtHR announced (finally!) the decision on the admissibility of the interstate case “Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia” under Nos. 8019/16, 43800/14, 28525/20, recognizing it as admissible, and then proceeding to consider it on its merits!”,- she wrote and added that she would tell the details later.
The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak wrote in Telegram that there is good news on the “legal front against Russia.”
He noted that the ECtHR announced its decision on the admissibility of the international case “Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia”.
“This is the first case regarding the occupation of eastern Ukraine in 2014 and another court decision in bringing the Russian Federation to international legal responsibility. The case concerns the administrative practice of Russian violations of human rights in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions since 2014, as well as the downing of MH17.” he wrote.
At the same time, Yermak noted that this decision will help hold Russia accountable for the occupation of our territories, human rights violations, and other crimes.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra, commenting on the court’s decision, noted that it is an “important milestone.”
“This is a clear signal to Russia,” he wrote on Twitter.
According to Reuters, it is expected to take another one to two years before a final decision is made. In addition, the ECtHR’s decision opens the door to at least three other cases of Ukraine against Russia, as well as thousands of separate cases that were dropped before the decision on jurisdiction.
Lawsuits of Ukraine against Russia in the ECtHR – the latest news
On February 28, Ukraine appealed to the ECHR with a statement on the introduction of preliminary measures against the government of the Russian Federation in connection with “massive violations of human rights committed by Russian troops during military aggression against the sovereign territory of Ukraine.”
On March 1, the ECtHR ordered Russia to refrain from attacking the civilian population and destroying civilian objects in Ukraine, but the aggressor country did not take appropriate measures.
In June, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine submitted a new lawsuit against the Russian Federation to the ECtHR – about Russia’s flagrant violations of human rights at the initial stage of the war. As part of this lawsuit, Ukraine is demanding monetary compensation for the victims, estimating damages of at least 80 billion dollars. On June 29, the ECtHR accepted Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia for consideration .
In September, it became known that 23 states submitted applications to the European Court of Human Rights with a request to join as a third party in the consideration of Ukraine’s claim against Russia. Among the non-EU members, Norway joined, and Great Britain and Iceland also intended to join.
It should be noted that Russia left the Council of Europe on its own initiative last year, and on September 16, the country finally left the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. The loss of Russian access to the ECHR became an important consequence of Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe.
At the same time, the Russian authorities refused to comply with all ECtHR decisions that entered into force after March 15, 2022. The ECtHR, in its turn, decided that it can accept any complaint against Russia for violations that took place before September 16, 2022.