Secretary General urges Russian Foreign Minister to implement ECHR judgments

CoE/Secretary General

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has written to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urging the Russian Federation to implement outstanding judgments from the European Court of Human Rights. At its latest quarterly meeting on the execution of ECHR judgments, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers also decided to implement a new strategy on its supervision of cases concerning Russia. The Russian Federation was excluded from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022. However, Russia is still required 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.

At its meeting the Committee deeply deplored that since March 3 Russia has ceased all communication with the Council of Europe concerning the execution of judgments. Given the absence of information from the authorities, the input provided by the civil society remains of vital importance, said the strategy, noting that the Council of Europe will enhance exchanges with relevant NGOs. Interaction with relevant UN human rights instruments to which Russia is still a party should also be stepped up. The Committee of Ministers invited the Secretary General to write to the Russian Foreign Minister after each meeting on the execution of judgments, to provide information on outstanding Russian cases and urge the authorities to comply with their obligations under international law to fully abide by the judgments of the European Court.

The Committee of Ministers will consider adopting more general decisions dealing with larger groups of Russian cases in the future. The Council of Europe will also publish regularly updated information on all pending Russian cases and a register of outstanding ‘just satisfaction’ awards and the default interest accrued. There are currently 2,227 cases under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers, pending full implementation by the Russian authorities. Since February 2022, three Russian cases have been closed.

Information is currently awaited on the payment of just satisfaction in 1,874 cases. As of 8 November 2022, the outstanding amount stood at over 2 billion euros, including roughly 1.87 billion euros in the case of OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos, as well as 10 million euros of just satisfaction and the default interest of roughly 1.2 million euros due in the Georgia v Russia (I) case.

Public Release. More on this here.