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Ukraine expects rapid consideration of statement to ECHR against Russia

However, even if the decision of the court is positive, there is a risk that Russia will not fulfill it
13:28, 8 January 2019

Radio Liberty

Ukraine expects the rapid consideration of its statement to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Russia on the violation of rights of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian side near Kerch Strait in November 2018, despite the fact that Ukraine was provided with the short term for the filing of the statement. Ivan Lishchyna, the Deputy Justice Minister made such statement as 112 Ukraine reported.

“It is hard to say but taking into consideration that Ukraine was provided with a very short term for the filing of the statement, I hope that the case will be considered quite rapid,” Lishchyna claimed.

Related: Macron urges Putin to release Ukrainian sailors, vessels

According to him, it is important to establish the fact that the Ukrainian sailors are the prisoners of war.

“It is important to establish the circumstances of the capture, that the ECHR will help, as it will consider the issue connected with the violation of the right to life of the sailors, freedom from tortures, right to personal freedom. From the point of view of the acting international agreements between Ukraine and Russia or universal international rights, the first important thing is to establish the fact that our sailors are the prisoners of war and the proper rights, including their return to Ukraine, according to the third Geneva Convention should be applied toward them as they are the prisoners of war,” Lishchyna stated.

Related: Families of captured Ukrainian sailors were paid monetary assistance

However, even if the decision of the court is positive, there is a risk that Russia will not fulfill it as the national legislation of the Russian Federation is considered prioritized over the international.

“Russia established such possibility for itself, to use the Constitutional Court as the basis for the non-fulfillment; judicially, the decision of this court does not release Russia from the fulfillment of the decision according to Convention but Russia refers to it,” he said.

Related: Russian MFA responds to request of Merkel and Macron on release of Ukrainian sailors

As we reported Ukraine submitted a full-fledged statement against the Russian Federation on the violation of the rights of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured near the Kerch Strait in November last year to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. 

Related: France and Germany call on Russia to release Ukrainian sailors

21 Ukrainian sailors have been delivered to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow, three others are in the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison, also in the Russian capital. On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.

On December 26, Crimean Supreme Court left all Ukrainian sailors under arrest.

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