Ukraine will take Russia's annexation of Crimea to the International Court of Justice, the Ukrainian envoy to Turkey has said.
“We will take the issue to the International Court of Justice. That's what we will definitely do,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Ankara Sergiy Korsunsky said during a conference on the Ukrainian conundrum at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara on Tuesday.
According to Korsunsky, the court's advisory decision on Kosovo's proclamation of independence from Serbia, in which the court said Kosovo's declaration of independence does not violate international law, does not serve as a proper example in the case of Crimea.
Underlining that a conducting a regional referendum, as in the case of Crimea, is unconstitutional, the ambassador expressed strong confidence that Ukraine, with good legal preparation, would come out victorious in a case against Russia at the court.
Russia's annexation of Crimea came shortly after mass protests in February toppled Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovich. Following a referendum in mid-March in which most people living in Crimea voted to join Russia, the Crimean Parliament declared the autonomous region's independence and formally applied to join the Russian Federation. The Crimean Parliament and Russia both maintained at the time that Yanukovich was illegally ousted.
‘Mercenaries paid $300 a day'
The ambassador also maintained that the insurgents who have been fighting in the eastern part of Ukraine to annex the area to Russia are mercenaries who are being paid $300 a day. “When they kill a Ukrainian soldier, they get paid $100 extra. If it is an officer who was killed, they are paid $1,000 extra,” Korsunsky said.