Russians have sabotaged peace, not built it.

States have formal sovereignty, understood as constitutional independence granted: right to territorial integrity, freedom and political independence. Sovereignty is built on the assumption that states who have it can basically take care of themselves. There is a security gap in the sense of inability of protection of the Ukrainian citizens within the states territory and that is a source of tension in the international society of states where states are legally equal.

All States must refrain from the treat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, unless there is express support form the Charter of the Charter of the United Nations. And in Europe, it also concerns the principles laid sown in the Final Act of the 1975 Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The principle is that frontiers can change, but only in accordance with international law and by agreement. The European Union has declared that Russia´s actions are to be regarded as an act of aggression.

  • International law is an essential foundation for every attempt to build lasting peace.

Formal sovereignty is of great importance for weak states, because sovereignty offers access to international institutions, including the UN system. To compensate for that situation, weak states demand special treatment in terms of aid, market access and so on. It also provides access to economic, military, and other forms of aid.

This emphasis amounts to a demand to be treated as equals in the international society of states, to have their sovereignty respected and count on par with every other country in the international system, irrespective of the fact that these states are terribly weak and able to do very little on their own.

International society steps in primarily for humanitarian reasons when domestic conflict has got out of hand.

International humanitarian law, like any international treaty, the Geneva Conventions are addressed to states.: States must allow such assistance to be delivered to the civilians in need of aid in their power, and the conditions which they are entitled to impose on such delivery.

Access to populations in need are strengthened to the extent that the humanitarian operation reflects the provisions of international humanitarian law and principles, it includes “the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions, as well as subsequent treaties, and customary international law. The two additional protocols adopted in 1977 to Geneva Conventions extend and strengthen civilian protection in international (AP I) and non-international (AP II) armed conflict.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the only institution explicitly named under international humanitarian law as a controlling authority. After all, the ICRC operates according to international humanitarian law, and the ICRC principles, elaborated over a long history of action in conflict, seem to serve it well.

There is one overwhelming conclusion to be drawn from recent UN report, on Moscows military presence on the border of Ukraine: That these armed pro-Russian groups cannot possibly claim to be acting in defence of the civilian population.

They are the actions of violent and abusive, armed thugs, against the civilian population by pro-Russian armed groups in eastern Ukraine.

  • As the UN report puts it “these groups exercise their power over the civilian population in “raw and brutal ways”, which are, and “putting the whole civilian population at risk”. It also acknowledges Ukraine´s legitimate right, and its sovereign duty, to restore law and order and to protect its citizens.

We share the United Nations, view that force must be used proportionately and in full compliance with domestic and international law. And we welcome Ukraine´s clear and unambiguous commitment to these important principles.

Ukrainian forces have managed to shrink rebel territory by more than half, though they have yet to cut off the separatist´supply lines from Russia. In those cities and towns that have been liberated by the Ukrainian Government life is returning to normal.

Ukraine is making a concerted effort to address the complex needs of approximately 117,000 people who have been internally displaced. In doing so, Ukraine is working effectively with international humanitarian organizations to provide assistance.

Both US and UK ambassador to the UN delivered stern warning at UN Security Council meeting in New York on Aug 7th 20014, after reports showed Russian has intensified its military presence on the border into Ukrainian territory, dispatching what NATO estimates is 20,000 troops to the frontier.

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukrainian crisis, the European Union has been calling on the Russian leadership to work towards a peaceful resolution. So,  it is particularly worrisome given Russia´s purported annexation of Crime, which was predicated on calls by an illegitimate, puppet government, for Russia to send troops to restore “peace”. Russians have sabotaged peace, not built it.

Russia have been threatening some of its immediate neighbors and Russia fully supports Russian armed separatists in this conflict. The peacekeeping contingent, which has been located near Ukraine-Russia border for more than 5 months, can hardly be called peacekeeping.

  • Therefore, its deployment would be considered direct breaches of peace or acts of aggression, according to UN Charter obligation: Chapter I – Purposes, to maintain international peace and security.

Finally, it is good to know that European union Advisory Mission for civilian security sector reform (EUAM) is now in place to lead EU security sector reform mission in Ukraine. Important work, supporting the elaboration of revised security strategies and the rapid implementation of reforms, in coordination and coherence with other EU efforts, as well as with the OSCE and other international partners. No case for Russian intervention.

It´s simply, the latest sign of Russia´s commitment to supporting the rebels, even at the cost of international isolation. Russia should not intervene in Ukraine under the pretext of peacekeeping.  US sec John Kerry made clear that the best way to get humanitarian assistance to Ukraine is through international organizations. And UK backs genuine ICRCorg  humanitarian operation supported by Ukraine.

Geneva Peace Talks 2014
UN organized on the occasion of the International Day of Peace in a partnership between the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.


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