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Notification to the Governments of the States parties to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of War Victims / Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, 30.10.2019


I. Withdrawal of a declaration by the Russian Federation

On 23 October 2019, the Russian Federation informed the Swiss Federal Council of the following:

«Die Russische Föderation hat beschlossen, die durch die Union der Sozialistischen Sowjetrepubliken bei der Ratifizierung des Zusatzprotokolls I eingereichte Erklärung gemäss Punkt 2 Artikel 90, die Zuständigkeit der internationalen humanitären Ermittlungskommission ipso facto und ohne besondere Übereinkunft gegenüber jeder anderen Hohen Vertragspartei, welche dieselbe Verpflichtung übernimmt, anzuerkennen, zu widerrufen» (original text in German).

«The Russian Federation decided to withdraw the declaration made by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at the time of the ratification of the Additional Protocol I in accordance with Article 90, paragraph 2, recognizing ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission» (unofficial translation).

SOURCE: (last accessed on 27.11.2019)

Declaration made at the time of ratification on 29.09.1989

"The Soviet Union's ratification of the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions for the protection of the victims of war constitutes an unusual event in the recent diplomatic history of our country.

It reflects the spirit of new political thinking and demonstrates the Soviet State's commitment to humanizing international affairs and strengthening the system of international law.

At the same time, it exemplifies the spirit of continuity between Russian and Soviet diplomacy, extending back to the 1860s, in seeking to ensure that the principles of humanism and mercy are respected even in the tragic circumstances of war.

The Additional Protocols, in whose drafting the Soviet Union played a universally recognized role, were among the first international instruments presented for ratification to the new Soviet Parliament.

It should be pointed out that the Supreme Soviet of the USSR chose to ratify the Protocols without any reservation whatsoever. At the same time, our State recognized the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission in cases where international humanitarian law is violated.

We in the Soviet Union hope that the ratification of the Additional Protocols will be duly appreciated by all those involved in the noble cause of humanism and the endeavour to free mankind from the horrors of war."

SOURCE: Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949; Reservations, Declarations and communications made at the time of or in reference to ratification or accession as at 30 June 1992, ICRC, 15 July 1992, pp.36-37.



(Withdrawal 23.10.2019)