UPDATED 9:44 AM PT – Tuesday, March 8, 2022
A United Nations hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was cancelled after a representative from Russia failed to appear. This session was part of a longer legal dispute after Ukraine requested for the ICJ to impose a provisional order putting an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The hearing was meant to allow the representative to present legal evidence proving that Ukraine committed acts of genocide.
“His Excellency Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, indicated that his government did not intend to participate in the oral proceedings,” explained ICJ President, Joan Donoghue. “The court regrets the non-appearance of the Russian Federation in these oral proceedings.”
In the aftermath of the hearing, a representative from Ukraine, Anton Korynevych, decided to take the time to send a message to Russia denying their claims of genocide. He also called for a ceasefire, so that both countries can settle the dispute.
“Russia accuses Ukraine of committing genocide,” said Korynevych. “Ukraine denies that claim in the strongest possible terms and we will prove it. Russia claims that in order to stop a non-existent genocide, it can invade a sovereign state, Ukraine. Ukraine rejects this baseless claim. My message to Russia is this: let us settle our dispute like civilized nations, lay down your arms and put forward your evidence. Ukraine respects this court and follows its orders. Russia must as well.”
During a press conference concerning the defunct trial, the Ukraine representative repeated the call for the court to impose a provisional order against the invasion.
“We asked the court to impose the order on provisional measures as soon as possible, urgently, because this is needed for our country, for our people,” Korynevych stressed. “So we do have precedents, we do have case law in which the court was rather fast and effective in the imposition of provisional measures. So we hope and we ask the court to do that urgently because this is a matter of life and death for our Ukrainian citizens.”
The court is expected to make a decision in the legal dispute after both sides present their evidence.