Kremlin’s Defiance of International Law

Kremlin’s Defiance of International Law

Context:

  • In the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia is accused of constantly violating the international laws.
  • This was evident when Russia did not comply by the decisions of International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Background:

  • Moscow keeps on its unlawful military offensive against Kyiv despite massive international criticism, including a resolution voted by 141 nations in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in March 2022 calling for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine immediately and unconditionally.
  • While the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgements are enforceable, UNGA resolutions are not.
  • Again, in March, the ICJ issued an interim measure finding on Ukraine’s plea, ordering Russia to cease all military actions in Ukraine right away. Russia has not abided by this ruling.

Annexation of the regions:

  • The recent annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson the four territories that are an integral part of Ukraine is the latest act of flagrant international law violation by Russia.
  • According to Russia, these areas had referendums and chose to join the country.
  • The so-called “referenda” in Ukraine were held in territories occupied by Russia, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres has correctly noted.
  • Therefore, it is exceedingly improbable that the so-called referendums represent an accurate reflection of the general will of the people.

What is Kremlin’s Stand?

  • Putin routinely refers to the UN Charter in an effort to convince the Russian people of the legality of his actions.
  • He made a reference to Article 51 of the UN Charter just before invading Ukraine (which provides for self-defence against an armed attack).
  • Putin was mistaken because Ukraine did not attack Russia. He mentioned Article 1 of the Charter in a recent address where he announced the illegal annexations.
  • The emphasis was on the inhabitants of these territories’ right to self-determination. Again, Mr. Putin is mistaken. There is disagreement over the specifics of the international law’s right to self-determination.

Source The Hindu