In a historic development, a Russian representative has failed to secure a seat on the International Court of Justice for the first time, according to news site European Pravda.
The Russian candidate, Kirill Gevorgyan, was defeated by former Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu in a vote held by the United Nations General Assembly.
Aurescu, representing the Eastern Europe region, garnered 117 votes from the General Assembly, significantly outpacing the Russian candidate, who received only 77 votes.
This election marks a significant shift, as traditionally representatives from permanent members of the Security Council, like Russia, have been present in the International Court of Justice.
Mykola Hnatovsky, an international lawyer and judge of the European Court of Human Rights, highlighted the importance of this outcome, noting that it will be the first time the court will not have a Soviet/Russian judge.
He also recalled that the only other time a permanent Security Council member was not represented was the United Kingdom in 2017.
Aurescu has a distinguished career in foreign affairs, having led Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from November 2019 to June 2023 and briefly in 2014-2015.
The International Court of Justice, located in The Hague, comprises 15 judges, with new judges elected every three years. Each judge represents a regional group of countries and must secure the support of both the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.
This development comes at a time when the International Court of Justice is handling several complaints from Ukraine against Russia, including allegations of using the pretext of "genocide in Donbas" to justify its full-scale invasion. This change in the court's composition could have implications for the ongoing legal disputes involving Russia.