Ukrainian Leader Poroshenko Looks To Sue Russia Over Donbas, Crimea
RFE/RL August 01, 2018
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has ordered the creation of a body to prepare a lawsuit against Russia for damages caused by separatists whom Moscow supports in the Donbas region and for its illegal annexation of the Crimea Peninsula.
"The ongoing armed aggression of Russia brings to the Ukrainian soil new immeasurable human suffering every day, infrastructure is destroyed, enterprises and economic potential of the Donbas and Crimea are destroyed," he wrote on August 1 on Facebook.
"Therefore, we should not hesitate even for a minute with the formation of Ukraine's consolidated claim to Russia to compensate for the damage inflicted," he said.
Poroshenko said he asked his cabinet to take steps for the "speedy creation" of an interagency coordinating body based on the law of reintegration adopted by Kyiv in January.
That law, he wrote, "clearly confirms Ukraine's devotion to a peaceful settlement and reflects my ideology of peaceful reintegration of the occupied region."
Moscow's takeover of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its military, political, and economic support for separatists in eastern Ukraine prompted the United States, the European Union, and others to impose sanctions on Russia.
More than 10,300 people have been killed since April 2014 in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and the Russia-backed separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Although Moscow denies interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in November 2016 determined the conflict to be "an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation."
At a summit earlier this month, Ukraine and the European Union, while agreeing on the need for reforms in Kyiv, also condemned Russia's seizure of Crimea and its backing of the separatists.
On July 31, the EU expanded its sanctions against Moscow to include companies that helped build a bridge from Russia to Crimea.
"I am glad that my strategy was supported by the EU leaders during the Ukraine-EU summit, expressing their readiness to take the patronage of the restoration of the settlements of the Donbas," Poroshenko said in his statement.
It is not known how effective such a suit against Russia would be or whether Moscow would even acknowledge it.
Kyiv in the past has filed cases against Moscow with various international bodies with little success. In January 2017, Ukraine filed a case against Russia with the Court of Justice, the highest United Nations court.
Moscow in the past has rejected international rulings over its Ukraine-related actions, calling them "biased and politically motivated."
With reporting by Interfax and Unian
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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