UN’s top court declines to rule on Ukraine’s MH17 claim

A reconstruction of the wreckage of MH17 by the Dutch Safety Board.

The International Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected a request from Ukraine to hold Russia culpable for the downing of Flight MH17, finding the terrorism convention under which Kyiv brought the case only covers monetary support.

Ukraine filed a complaint with the Hague-based court in 2017, accusing Moscow of violating international law by supporting separatists and annexing the Crimean Peninsula.

However, judges at the United Nations’ highest court faulted Russia for only minor violations of the two international treaties at stake: the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, or ICSFT, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, CERD.

It is the first time ICSFT has been ruled on by an international court and the court said that the scale of the treaty was more limited than Ukraine argued in hearings last year.

“It is not necessary for the Court to evaluate …[the acts committed]…solely by the supply of weapons or other means,” the court wrote.

Russia has denied involvement in the downing of the passenger jet and all of the other allegations made by Ukraine. During hearings in the case last year, lawyers for the Russian Federation said they had the upmost respect for international law.

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