Kyiv, June 5, 2014. Ukraine is in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Russian Federation in the amount of one trillion Hryvnia (approximately USD 84.7 billion) for the recent annexation of Crimea, said Ukraine’s Acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk during his address to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament – Ed.). Over the past month, Ukraine has already filed lawsuits against Russia over violations of the rights of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea by the Russian Federation and its military.
Acting Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has launched an investigation into the criminal case against Russia, and that unfortunately, there is a limited number of international courts where a lawsuit of this magnitude can be filed. Nevertheless, he assured Ukraine’s Parliament that the country would explore all possible legal means to take the Russian Federation to court.
Ukraine’s economic losses associated with the Russian occupation of Crimea have exceeded one trillion Hryvnia (or an equivalent of USD 84.7 billion) as of mid-May and are constantly increasing, said the Minister of Justice of Ukraine Pavlo Petrenko.
Notably, Ukraine has been preparing a number of other claims which will be submitted to the state authorities and the administration of the Russian Federation for the unlawful seizure of Ukrainian territory, noted the Ukrainian official. According to Minister Petrenko, the process may take a long time but is bound to result in a positive outcome for Ukraine.
In April Ukraine filed two lawsuits with the European Court of Human Rights against the Russian Federation in relation to Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian Crimea and the violation of international commitments by the Russian Federation as they pertain to Ukraine.
According to Minister Petrenko, Ukraine has so far applied to the European Commission of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. In addition to the number of complaints related to Russia’s mass violations of human rights in eastern Ukraine, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has also submitted evidence, including a video, which proves that Russian soldiers are responsible for the human rights violations in Crimea.
As one example of these violations, the minister mentioned forceful change of citizenship – a requirement which violates a number of conventions as well as the International Covenant of Political and Civil Rights. Minister Petrenko reiterated that a Ukrainian citizen who was pressured and forced to actually confirm Ukrainian citizenship, and who was then automatically converted to Russian citizenship, may apply for and should receive compensation from the Russian Federation. The minister noted that as a member of the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation is obliged to pay this compensation.
Reportedly, the crisis associated with the Crimean anschluss has already cost Russia close to USD 200 billion and the damage may well exceed USD 400 billion this year alone, according to bne.eu.