Press release of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation regarding the judgment of the ECHR in the case of Georgia v. Russia (II), January 21, 2021 - News of the Permanent Representation of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe
Press release of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation regarding the judgment of the ECHR in the case of Georgia v. Russia (II), January 21, 2021
On January 21, 2021, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights published its judgment in the inter-State case of Georgia v. Russia (II), concerning the events August 2008 in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and their consequences.
After almost 12 years of consideration of the case, the ECHR concluded that the Russian Federation could not be held responsible under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights for the incidents that occurred during the repulse by Russian servicemen of the Georgian army aggression against the peacekeeping contingent and the local civilian population in the period from 8 to 12 August 2008. The ECHR neither supported the claims of the Georgian authorities about the alleged invasion of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to the territory of South Ossetia on August 7, 2008, that is, before the attack of the Georgian military against the city of Tskhinval.
"The Georgian side in this case tried to prove without success that the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights applies not only in peacetime, but also in conditions of warfare, which actually undermines the foundations of international humanitarian law. We managed to convince the European judges that the legal assessment of the actions of the Russian armed forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 8-12, 2008 is beyond their jurisdiction. Also, the ECHR has not found even a single case of violation of the rights of the civilian population by Russian servicemen during the events of August 2008, " said Mikhail Galperin, the Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights – Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.
The Ministry of Justice during the exchange of legal positions and public hearings and interviewing the witnesses and the direct participants of the events concerned, which were held in 2011, 2016 and 2018, presented to the ECHR exhaustive arguments, which prove the invalidity of Georgian claims.
The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation disagrees with a number of conclusions of the ECHR, including the one which assigns the responsibility for the incidents that took place on the territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after August 12, 2008, to the Russian side despite the fact that the direct involvement of Russian servicemen in them has never been established.
Such an assessment of the circumstances of the Russian Federation's participation in the protection of civilians and the prevention of the escalation of an armed conflict was the result of the ECHR's use of the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction, the content of which is at odds with the position of the International Court of Justice and generally recognized norms of international law.
The judgment of the ECHR in the case "Georgia v. Russia (II)" does not contain a decision on financial compensation. The relevant issue was left to the ECHR for further consideration.