The top United Nations court rules on Friday on whether it has jurisdiction to hear a case brought by Ukraine against Russia over Moscow’s alleged support of pro-Russian separatists in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
In a hearing at the International Court of Justice in June, Moscow asked judges to dismiss the suit, saying Kiev was using it as pretext for a ruling on the legality of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Friday’s hearing was to begin at 1400 GMT with a decision expected to be announced within two hours.
The ICJ, or World Court, is the leading global court for disputes between nations. A ruling on Moscow’s involvement in Ukraine would set a precedent that could impact other cases dealing with Russia’s alleged link to the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Kiev says Russia’s support for separatist forces in whose territory the plane crashed, killing all 298 passengers and crew, violated a United Nations convention which bans the funding of terrorist groups.
An international investigation led by the Netherlands concluded that the airline was hit by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile that originated from a base in Kursk, in southern Russia not far from Ukraine.