The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has reiterated the Russian Federation’s unconditional legal obligation to implement judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and to pay ‘just satisfaction’ awarded by the Court.
The President of the Committee of Ministers made a statement on this issue, and the Council of Europe Secretary General sent a further letter to the Russian Foreign Minister, following the Committee’s latest quarterly meeting on the execution of judgments from the European Court.
Four groups of Russian cases and two Georgia v. Russia interstate cases were examined by the Committee at the meeting. They concerned violations found in the Transdniestrian region of the Republic of Moldova and inadequate preparation of hostage-rescue operations resulting in loss of life and injuries in both the Dubrovka Theatre and in the hostage-taking crisis in Beslan in 2004, as well as criminal convictions based on an unfair trial and an arbitrary application of criminal law in cases concerning Aleksey Navalnyy.
Following the examination of the Georgia v. Russia (I) case, which concerns the arrest, detention and expulsion from the Russian Federation of large numbers of Georgian nationals in 2006-2007, the President of the Committee of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, said:
“The Russian authorities must heed the Committee’s call and comply with their unconditional obligations under international law to pay these sums and fully abide by the judgments of the European Court.
“The default interest on the amount awarded by the Court in Georgia v. Russia (I) continues to accrue and on 5 June 2023, the total amount owed by the Russian Federation in this case was EUR 11,525,068.49. Russia’s delay in fulfilling this obligation deprives the individual victims of the violations from receiving compensation for the damages they suffered,” he stressed.
At the request of the Committee of Ministers, and now also reflecting the recent judgment of the European Court awarding just satisfaction in the case of Georgia v Russia (II), a Register of just satisfaction concerning the Russian Federation has been created, which shows the millions of euros owed by the Russian Federation in all inter-state cases.
There is currently a total of 2,454 cases under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers, pending full implementation by the Russian authorities. Information is currently awaited on the payment of just satisfaction in some 1,200 cases. As of 5 June 2023, the outstanding amount stood at slightly over 2.2 billion euros, including roughly 1.87 billion euros in the case of OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos.
The Russian Federation was excluded from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022. However, Russia is still obliged to implement judgments of the European Court related to its actions and omissions up until 16 September 2022. The European Court has continued delivering judgments concerning Russia, and the Committee of Ministers continues to supervise their implementation.