Disinfo: The Hague court did not recognise the sovereignty of Ukraine over Crimea

Summary

On the sixth anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the Permanent Court of Arbitration refused to recognise Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea. The decision of the arbitration says: “As a result, the arbitration cannot decide on any demand of Ukraine, which is based on the assertion that Ukraine has sovereignty over Crimea.”

Disproof

Part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that Crimea is Russian territory.

Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia on 16 September 2016, concerning the Kremlin's violations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of ​​Azov. The Kremlin appealed that the Permanent Court of Arbitration does not have jurisdiction to consider this case, but the court rejected Russia's objections on 21 February 2020 and determined it would hear Ukraine's claims. Ukraine insists in its lawsuit that since 2014, Russia has hindered Ukraine from using natural resources from its own marine areas: including fish resources and huge oil and gas reserves. Also, that Russia impedes free navigation through the Kerch Strait. 

The Permanent Court of Arbitration published a decision on preliminary objections of the Russian Federation on March 16, but the Tribunal had issued the award on 21 February 2020. The Permanent Court of Arbitration really is not authorised to consider the issue of the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, but it is able to rule on territorial waters.

Moreover, in the judgment of the court, there are no words that the court "refused to recognise Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea", as claimed. The court ruled that it unanimously "upholds the Russian Federation’s objection that the Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over Ukraine’s claims, to the extent that a ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal on the merits of Ukraine’s claims necessarily requires it to decide, directly or implicitly, on the sovereignty of either Party over Crimea." 

The case of the occupation of Crimea will be considered by The International Criminal Court in The Hague, presumably this year. 

Read more information in a similar case claiming The Hague court recognised Crimea as Russian.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: International Criminal Court, Azov sea, War crimes, Black Sea, Crimea
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