UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on Wednesday, Russia should “immediately suspend” military operations in Ukraine.
The judges of the apex court of the United Nations said, “the Russian Federation should immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on February 24, 2022 on the territory of Ukraine,” while the Vice-President of Russia Kirill Gevorgian and Judge Xue Hanqin of China were dissenting for the same.
Although the verdicts of the ICJ are binding, the court has no direct means to enforce them. This raises the worrisome question of whether Moscow would abide by the ruling or not.
Furthermore, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has tweeted on 16th March, “Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice. The ICJ ordered to immediately stop the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further.”
Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice. The ICJ ordered to immediately stop the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 16, 2022
Although, there have been very few instances in the past wherein countries have ignored the decision of the court. In such cases, the countries can be referred to the United Nations Security Council. However, in the current case one cannot ignore the fact that Russia has veto power in UNSC.
While delivering the ruling, the President of the Court Joan Donoghue of the United States explains that the “attacks are ongoing and are creating increasingly difficult living conditions for the civilian population. Many persons have no access to basic to the most basic foodstuffs, potable water, electricity, essential medicines or heating. A very large number of people are attempting to flee from the most affected cities under extremely insecure conditions.”
Therefore, the judges unanimously mention that both the parties must avoid any action that might “aggravate or extend the dispute…”