April 5, 2016
Ukraine v. Russia and the Kleptocrats
By Alan Riley
In this new report from the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Alan Riley proposes new legal avenues that Ukraine can pursue to recover asset losses resulting from corruption under the Yanukovych regime and Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory.
In this new report from the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Alan Riley proposes new legal avenues that Ukraine can pursue to recover asset losses resulting from corruption under the Yanukovych regime and Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory. The task of countering corruption and recovering assets in Ukraine is daunting: The theft of public assets in Ukraine has escalated over the last decade, with some estimates of as much as 100 billion dollars of public assets stolen during the Yanukovych administration alone.
Riley’s report identifies the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as a key institution, which, with Western support, could be used to hold Russia accountable for occupation liabilities. In addition, Riley outlines the legal mechanisms that the Ukrainian government can implement to recover assets stolen by individuals under the Yanukovych regime. According to Riley, Ukraine has an opportunity to use the rules of public international law, the legal regimes of its allies, and domestic law to recover its property, protect its rights, and obtain compensation for the substantial damage that followed from the invasion. The law can be deployed to assert Ukraine’s rights as a sovereign state and reinforce the principle that breaches of the UN Charter Article 2(4) and the acts of kleptocrats will result in transgressors being faced with paying in full measure for losses that they have imposed on the innocent.