The Batumi initiative (on condemning the annexation of Crimea)
|During the meeting of the Circle of Presidents of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts
in Batumi in September 2015, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine launched an initiative to condemn the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of 19 March 2014, which paved the way for the annexation by Russia of part of the Ukrainian territory—Crimea. This initiative is also called the Batumi Initiative.
The Presidents of the Constitutional Courts supporting the initiative drew attention to the fact that the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognising that the agreement between the Russian Federation and the so-called “Republic of Crimea”, located in the territory of Ukraine, is an international treaty, as well as that the so-called “Republic of Crimea” has the status of an international legal entity, is unprecedented and that the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation formally had a decisive role in the process of the annexation of foreign territories.
President of the Constitutional Court Dainius Žalimas, together with the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts of Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine, supported this initiative and signed the Joint Statement Concerning Territorial Integrity and International Law in Administering Constitutional Justice.
Under Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Federal Constitutional Law of the Russian Federation “On the Procedure of Admission to the Russian Federation and Creation of a New Subject of the Russian Federation in Its Composition”, an international treaty on the accession of a new entity to the Russian Federation may be ratified only after the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation rules such a treaty to be in compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Thus, under the Russian legislation, the above-mentioned judgment was necessary in order to formally annex Crimea, and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, by adopting its judgment of 19 March 2014 within one day after the so-called “Treaty” was signed, performed an instrumental role in accomplishing and justifying the annexation of Crimea.
The statement of the Constitutional Courts also noted that under international law, such annexation of a foreign territory is a manifestation of aggression and cannot be justified by any consideration and the judgment of 19 March 2014 of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation amounts to a grave violation of international law.
The full text of a Joint Statement can be found here
- A publication by Ukrainian nongovernmental organisations
- Information brief on the role of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in the annexation of Crimea
- Dainius Žalimas: “I welcome the resolve of Ukraine to prosecute the persons responsible for aggression”
- BBCJ Statement on Condemning and Persecuting Aggression and Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Territories of the BBCJ Countries, Tbilisi, 4 April 2018