On 6 March in the Hague, the Netherlands, in the framework of Ukraine's claim against the Russian Federation, the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) will hear Ukraine’s request for provisional measures.
On 16 January 2017, Ukraine filed a case in the ICJ to hold the Russian Federation accountable for its support for terrorism in the east of Ukraine and acts of discrimination of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in occupied Crimea.
Provisional measures will allow the Court to prevent the situation from deteriorating and, more importantly, to protect civilians, during the time necessary for consideration of the case. Proceedings on the merits of the case will continue however the Court resolves a provisional measures request.
The request for provisional measures arises at a particularly important time, in the context of the aggravated situation in Avdiivka and Crimea.
Ukraine’s request for provisional measures asks the Court to order the Russian Federation to stop violating the international law. Specifically, Ukraine will ask the Court to order that Russia ensures effective control over its border, stops the flow of weapons from Russia to Ukraine, suspends its support for illegal armed groups that attack civilians in Ukraine, and refrains from any further acts of discrimination in occupied Crimea.
The hearing on provisional measures is expected to last four days. Ukraine will present arguments on Monday, 6 March, and Wednesday, 8 March. The Russian Federation will present arguments on Tuesday, 7 March, and Thursday, 9 March. The hearing will open each day at 10 a.m. in The Hague, 11 a.m. Ukraine time.
It can be viewed live online at http://www.icj-cij.org/presscom/multimedia.php?p1=6 or http://webtv.un.org/live-now/watch/the-hague-1000-am-icj-holds-hearings-in-the-case-of-ukraine-v.-russian-federation/2295230289001
The ICJ considers requests for provisional measures on an expedited basis. The Court is expected to issue a decision in the coming weeks.
As for the consideration of the case on its merits, in the coming months the ICJ will define a schedule of written proceedings. Oral hearings will be scheduled thereafter.