ECHR dismisses Georgia’s claims against Russia over 2008 events as unfounded
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that a number of Georgia’s claims against Russia in connection with the August 2008 events in South Ossetia and Abkhazia were unfounded, the Russian Justice Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"After a nearly 12-year consideration of the case, the ECHR came to a conclusion that the Russian Federation cannot be held accountable under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for incidents, which occurred when the Russian servicemen were repelling attacks of the Georgian army against a peacekeeping contingent and the local civilian population on August 8-12, 2008," the Justice Ministry said.
The ECHR did not back the Georgian authorities’ claims on alleged Russia’s incursion into South Ossetia on August 7, 2008, that is to say before the Georgian forces’ attack on Tskhinval, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry dismissed some conclusions of the ECHR, including on holding Russia accountable for incidents that occurred in South Ossetia and Abkhazia after August 12, 2008, highlighting that there was no direct evidence of Russian troops’ involvement in them.
"Such evaluation of circumstances of the Russian Federation’s participation in protecting the civilian population and preventing escalation of the armed conflict stems from the ECHR’s extraterritorial jurisdiction’s concept, which runs counter to the position of the UN International Court and generally recognized rules of international law," TASS cited the ministryas saying.
The ECHR’s ruling in the case "Georgia vs Russia (II)" does not demand any compensation.
According to Russian Representative in the ECHR and Deputy Justice Minister Mikhail Galperin, "the Georgian side in this case tried to prove, but without success, that the European Convention on Human Rights is applied not only in peaceful time but also during combat actions, effectively undermining the basis of the international humanitarian law." "We managed to convince European judges that the legal assessment of actions by the Russian Armed Forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 8-12, 2008 is beyond their jurisdiction. Also, the ECHR did not confirm any single case of violation by the Russian servicemen of the civilian population’s rights during the events of August 2008," he said.
The ministry provided evidence that Georgia’s claims were unfounded, including during the 2011, 2016 and 2018 public hearings and the questioning of witnesses and participants of events.