Illegal culture of occupation, annexation | By Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi
Illegal cultivation of occupation, annexation
THANK YOU to the so-called rules-based order whose centrifugal forces tore the fabric of the United Nations Charter, unanimously endorsed by the Allied power of World War II.
The Cold War and post-Cold War periods have fully proven that the role of the international establishment has been profoundly essential in safeguarding the geopolitical interests of world powers, thereby turning a blind eye to gross transgressions of international law, thus setting a dangerous precedent of illegal occupation and annexation in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia – and yet, in the current scenario, the ongoing Russian occupation of Ukraine does not is no exception to this rule.
From a Western perspective, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine raises fundamental questions about the implications of features of international law.
In the given situation, after Russia’s announcement of the recognition of the independence of parts of eastern Ukraine, accompanied by its ongoing war of occupation in Ukraine, the main concern is the effectiveness decline of the international legal order as well as territorial integrity, and the right to self-determination.
In principle, the underlying obligations between Russia and Ukraine regarding territorial integrity and the prohibition of the use of force are contained in a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements.
These two principles are clearly expressed in Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter and in the Helsinki Final Act.
The 1994 Budapest Memorandum was concluded to provide Ukraine with security guarantees to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear weapon state.
For renouncing Soviet nuclear weapons, the United States, United Kingdom and Russia pledged to “respect the independence and sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine”… Put simply, since the early 2000s, the Kremlin’s policy towards Ukraine adopted a hardline policy – blatantly reflected in Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine when it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
It was further argued that Russia’s opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervention in Kosovo in 1999 was again consistent with generally accepted principles of international law regarding the use of the force.
At that time, and still today, humanitarian military intervention without the authorization of the Security Council was not unequivocally authorized by international law.
With regard to the emerging notion of the responsibility to protect (R2P), one could argue that Russia has taken a centrist position among the great powers.
Russia, like others, was reluctant to agree to decisive R2P commitments because it would limit its decision-making powers, including in the Security Council.
Nevertheless, in itself, by virtue of the very concept of contingent sovereignty, the Ukrainians have a right of disfigurement to fundamentally defend themselves against any Russian intervention-aggression.
Under UN R2P, Ukraine also has the right to defend its territorial sovereignty.
But at the same time, the Russian assertion has been that any Western or Ukrainian attempt to regain control of Donetsk and Luthansk in eastern Ukraine would amount to crossing the red line.
And yet, arguably, in order to make its case more viable and persuasive – without thereby changing the terms of the Minsk protocols – Kyiv might seek to put the Budapest memorandum back on the table.
The Budapest Memorandum is a fitting reminder, which was signed in December 1994 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States to formalize the handover of Ukraine’s vast nuclear arsenal dating back to the soviet era.
Thus, there seems to be a regional diffusion of the international legal order which is a revisionist conception of international law, which seeks to validate Russia’s sphere of influence accompanied by the right to intervene in it.
Indeed, Russia has consistently used international legal arguments to justify its actions – and in turn accused Western nations of being revisionist and breaking international legal rules.
Russia’s justification for its actions in Crimea is tied to self-determination, humanitarian urgency and self-defense – actions that were taken to protect the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine.
However, these justifications do not betray a revisionist international agenda; it may just be ‘lawtalk’ or a frenzied fusion of law and strategy for realpolitik motives.
And yet, it can be argued that while attempts to apprehend conflicts without taking full account of the moral and legal framework in which they take place are bound to be, on the whole, incomplete, this need is even greater when the norms relevant are universally proclaimed as central. however, the components of the contemporary international order remain contested, as they have been in the case of Russia’s engagements in Ukraine.
In this regard, the ICJ observation says: “A prohibited intervention must… be an intervention relating to matters in which each State is authorized, by the principle of State sovereignty, to decide freely.
One of them is the choice of a political, economic, social and cultural system, and the formulation of foreign policy.
Intervention is at fault when it uses means of coercion with regard to these choices, which must remain free”. ICJ Reports 1986, Judgment, June 27, 1986, p.14, 108 (para.205).
Given this legal indoctrination, the United States, Israel, India and Russia are all accusers and violators of international law.
Since the Arab-Israeli Six Day War in 1967, the conscienceless world has blatantly ignored Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, its annexation of East Jerusalem, and also, since the UN resolutions on Kashmir in 1948, the UN and the international community. judicial institutions remain silent on the Indian occupation of Kashmir and its unjust annexation to New Delhi in August 2019.
Other examples of this growing fascist world order lie in the 20 year occupation of the war in Afghanistan, the US war in Iraq and its occupation of Iraqi territory.
While the Western trajectory of NATO’s eastward expansion is a clear sign of the imposition of Western sovereignty in Eastern Europe, which motivated the Kremlin to occupy Ukraine.
Meanwhile, world powers also share their negative role in misrepresenting international law in terms of independence, sovereignty and human rights.
As for the Ukrainian question, Professor Roy Allison, an expert in Russian and East European studies, asserts: “Russia is a major power, with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which aspires to shape and constrain interpretations of international law and norms in the wider community of states as well as its own neighbourhood.
This legal competition has potentially serious implications for the international system.
“Nevertheless, collective peace diplomacy must work to end the ongoing war in Ukraine.
—The author, an independent scholar and analyst of international law based in Pakistan, is a member of the permanent policy research group on international relations, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies of the European Consortium for Political Research, also a member of the Washington Foreign Law Society and European society. of international law.