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    The European Court of Human Rights

    OPINION: Ukraine’s ECHR Lawsuit Against Russia Futile Publicity Move

    © Photo: Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin
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    There is little chance that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will rule in Kiev's favor in its lawsuit against Russia, Director of the Washington-based Democracy Institute, told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    WASHINGTON, June 5 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - There is little chance that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will rule in Kiev's favor in its lawsuit against Russia, Director of the Washington-based Democracy Institute, told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    "Kiev's lawsuit is a classic case of attempting to close the stable door after the horse has already bolted and escaped. One appreciates that the government in Kiev remains greatly frustrated by events over the past couple of months and by what has happened to what was part of the Ukraine that is now no longer so," Patrick Basham said.

    Basham believes that even if one follows the western thinking that the decision of Ukrainian citizens to become independent was unlawful, it doesn't change the fact that the deed is done.

    "In a fairly democratic fashion, the vast majority of people in a particular region of the Ukraine decided that they no longer wanted to be a part of that country. We cannot like that, we can strongly dislike this decision and regret it, but I think if we are serious democrats, we have to respect that," the expert asserted.

    "I think this is both a publicity move on the part of Kiev, as they want to maintain international pressure on Russia and they think alleging a strong legal case is a way to do that. And secondly and probably more importantly, I think it's a negotiating ploy. They recognize or I hope they recognize that that part of what was formally the Ukraine is not coming back, and therefore they would like Russia to pay some kind of penalty," Basham said. 

    "However if they can persuade the Russian government that by paying some large penalty for alleged damages then at least the Ukrainian economy, which is not in very good shape will gain some benefit after having lost a portion of the country and a portion of the population," Basham added. 

    According to the Ukrainian government's official website, Kiev filed two lawsuits against Russia with the ECHR in Strasbourg on the grounds of Crimea annexation and Russia's liability to Ukraine.

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