The Kremlin rejected on Thursday a top UN court’s order to halt its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
The International Court of Justice ordered Russia to “immediately suspend” its offensive that President Vladimir Putin ordered on Feb. 24. Kyiv hailed the ruling — which is binding but lacks any real means to enforce it — as a “complete victory.”
“We can’t take that decision into account,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying.
Peskov echoed Moscow’s stance during hearings earlier this month that the ICJ has no jurisdiction because Kyiv’s request fell outside the 1948 Genocide Convention on which it based the case.
“There’s such a thing as consent of the parties in an international court. There can be no consent here,” he told reporters.
But the ICJ ruled Wednesday that it had jurisdiction in the case.
Ukraine asked the ICJ to intervene, arguing that Moscow was falsely alleging genocide in Ukraine’s separatist-held Donetsk and Luhansk regions to justify its attack.
Presiding judge Joan Donoghue said the ICJ lacked evidence of genocide being committed in Ukraine. She expressed doubt that the Genocide Convention authorized military action “for the purpose of preventing or punishing an alleged genocide.”
No Russian representatives attended the hearing at The Hague.
Experts say a full hearing into Ukraine’s case could take years.