On Friday, the International Court of Justice in The Hague overwhelmingly rejected Russia’s jurisdictional objections to its hearing on the merits Ukraine’s legal claims for Russia’s violations of international law. These claims include alleged Russian violations of the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (including the 2014 shoot down of the Malaysian Airliner MH17) in Eastern Ukraine (the Donbas) as well as Russia’s violations of the international Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in systematically discriminating against Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea.

The 16-judge court rejected five Russian objections against proceeding further with the case, one unanimously, two by a vote of 15-1 (with only the Russian ad hoc judge dissenting), and two by a vote of 13-3 (with only the Chinese, Slovakian, and Russian ad hoc judges dissenting). The case now proceeds to the next stage, probably in 2020, where Russia must answer for its alleged legal violations on the merits.