Ukraine and Russia face each other in June at the World Court over flight MH17

Ukraine and Russia face each other in June at the World Court over flight MH17

THE HAGUE, May 16 (Reuters) – Ukraine and Russia are due to face off at the U.N. Supreme Court on June 6, where judges will hear Ukraine’s claim that Moscow has violated a U.N. treaty by supporting pro-Russian separatists, identified by a Dutch court as responsible for the downing of flight MH17 in 2014.

Last November, a Dutch court convicted two Russian men and a Ukrainian citizen in absentia of murder for their role in the downing of Flight MH17 with the loss of 298 passengers and crew, and sentenced them to life sentences.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 departed from Amsterdam and was en route to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, as fighting raged between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, the precursor to this year’s conflict.

The Dutch judgment also found that Russia had “overall control” over the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine as of mid-May 2014.

The International Court of Justice, formally known as the World Court, has scheduled four days of hearings on June 6, 8, 12 and 14 to hear both sides of the case.

This case, filed in 2017, is one of two Ukraine has brought against Russia at the court. The second case, filed just after the Russian invasion in 2022, concerns Moscow’s claim that it invaded Ukraine to prevent genocide. It generally takes several years for a case at the ICJ to reach hearings on the merits of the case.

Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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