Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the Council of Europe

, Kyiv 04:01

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba at the 1275th meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 18 January 2017

26 February 2017, 16:35

Permanent Representative of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba called on the Council of Europe to stay united with the victims of human rights violations in Crimea and use every available instrument to make Russia honor its international obligations and commitments.

Madame Chairperson,

Dear colleagues,

I have taken the floor to inform you that on 16 January 2017 Ukraine instituted proceedings against the Russian Federation in the International Court of Justice. We gathered sufficient evidence to claim that Russia has violated the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965). We also met all the procedural requirements set by the conventions to make sure that every available mean of the settlement were exhausted before the application to the Court.

With regard to the Racial Discrimination Convention, Ukraine has requested the Court to impose the following provisional measures:

-       Russia shall refrain from any act of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons, or institutions in the territory under its effective control, including the Crimean peninsula;

-       Russia shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the Crimean Tatar people, including suspending the decree banning the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and refraining from enforcement of this decree and any similar measures;

-       Russia shall take all necessary steps to halt the disappearance of Crimean Tatar individuals and to promptly investigate those disappearances that have already occurred;

-       Russia shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the ethnic Ukrainian people in Crimea, including suspending restrictions on Ukrainian-language education and respecting ethnic Ukrainian language and educational rights.

Hence, the practice of systemic repressions by Russia as occupying power in Crimea has now become subject of consideration by the International Court of Justice. This application is an important legal move towards the day when Russia will reap the fruits of responsibility for its crimes.

An important political move was made last December with the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/205 “Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”. The Resolution urges Russia to take all measures necessary to bring an immediate end to all abuses against residents of Crimea, in particular reported discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detentions, tortures and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, and to revoke all discriminatory legislation.

The Council of Europe, including this Committee, is well aware of Russia’s policy of quite terror in Crimea and clearly expressed its position in a number of decisions urging the occupying power to behave accordingly.

Dear Secretary General,

Dear colleagues,

Ukraine calls on you to stay united with the victims of human rights violations in Crimea and use every available instrument to make Russia honor its international obligations and commitments. It's high time for the Council of Europe to once again demonstrate the leadership and make necessary moves to oppose Russian aggression against Ukraine and defend human rights in Crimea.

I thank you, Madame Chairperson.

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