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Crimea: A War Fought With International Law

Published: April 10, 2014 (Issue # 1805)



  • The head of Crimeas unrecognized Russian-backed government Sergei Aksyonov in Simferopol, Crimea on Mar. 29.
    Photo: Max Vetrov / AP

International law is theweapon ofchoice inthe Crimea conflict, with adversaries using sections ofthe United Nations Charter like artillery tobolster their own defenses andtarget their opponents weaknesses.

But who will end up onthe right side ofhistory?

Thefact that theinternational community has found itself gripped ina battle forlegal supremacy might suggest that UN Charter drafters left theworld with high hopes forenduring peace but without themeans toachieve it.

But, atthe same time, legal controversies, as vicious as they may be, can inspire sorely needed progress andmodernization within thesphere ofinternational law.

The different sides tothe [Crimea] dispute have armed themselves with legal justifications asign that thelaw is taken seriously andcannot be ignored, said Joseph Davids, alawyer with Studio Legale Ghia inItaly andconsultant forthe UN Food andAgriculture Organization.

Thelegacy left bythe Crimea crisis could prove either beneficial or detrimental. History is rich with examples ofthe good that can come fromdiplomatic discord. Atthe same time, some analysts warn that theactions ofpowerful countries incases such as this one can prove catastrophic. Good or bad, theconflict will have acrucial impact onthe development ofinternational law.

The Beginning

Amid theongoing devastation ofWorld War II, theleaders ofthe Allied forces compromised ona solution that they dreamed would spare future generations thecatastrophic losses they were enduring.

Stalin, Churchill, andRoosevelt met inTehran inlate 1943 with theprimary purpose offorging wartime agreements that would enhance their fight against theAxis powers.

Atthe culmination ofthe four-day conference, thethree leaders signed adeclaration vowing onbehalf ofthemselves andall theUnited Nations tobuild apeace that would banish thescourge andterror ofwar formany generations.

Two years later, as theworld came toterms with its losses, thedelegates of50 nations convened inSan Francisco toformally breathe life intothe UN.

Addressing thefinal session ofthe San Francisco Conference, U.S. President Harry Truman lauded theinitiative as a solid structure upon which we can build abetter world.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organizations office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Centers series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this months lessons being visual arts.



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