Circular letter to the executive council of the international law association

6 июня 2014

Circular letter to the executive council of the international law association

Honorable colleagues, international lawyers!

The majority of Russians are surprised by the measures against Russia which were taken by the leaders of the USA and EU when Russia did not approve the military takeover of the constitutionally elected President of the Ukraine — Viktor Yanukovitch — by the present authorities of Kiev;

surprised by the USA and EU leaders’ disrespect to the will of the population of Crimea to exercise the right to self-determination provided for by the UN Charter;

surprised by the USA and EU leaders’ support of the actions of Kiev regime: extrajudicial killings; kidnappings and beatings of those parliamentarians who defend Russian-speaking population in the Ukraine; heroization of the Nazi Germany accomplices; denigration of the anti-Nazi struggle of the Soviet Union — the ally of the USA, Great Britain and France fighting against the Nazi Germany in the Second World War;

surprised by the USA and EU leaders’ perversion of the facts of numerous confrontations to the Kiev regime by the considerable part of the population in Donetsk, Kharkov, Luhansk and other eastern and southern regions of the Ukraine; the facts that the internal opposition to the anticonstitutional Kiev’s regime is called «Moscow underhand plotting» instead;

surprised by the misinformation: the fact that there are a lot of ethnically Russian people among the natives in the eastern and southern regions of the Ukraine is concealed from the peoples of the EU and USA, as well as public at large; meanwhile the Kiev rule brings armed forces from the west into these regions as well as armed units of the «Right Sector», agent provocateurs, nationalists and those who profess fascist ideology.

AT THE LEVEL OF PROFESSIONAL INTERNATIONAL LAWYERS AS WELL AS PUBLIC OPINION AND LEGAL AWARENESS OF THE MILLIONS OF RUSSIANS RATING OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL LEADERSHIP OF THE USA AND EU IS SHURPLY FALLING DOWN. SUCH A FACT — IT SHOULD BE STRESSED — HAS NEVER BEEN BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF MODERN RUSSIA.

Current deterioration of the situation in the Ukraine and the whole world impels us to apply on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Russian International Law Association directly to the Executive Council of the International Law Association, to all the international lawyers of the world.

In our address we draw your attention to the basic facts, history and legal foundations; to the adherence to international law and to the rule of law at national and international levels; to the peril of any manifestation of nationalism and intolerance; to the will and position of those Russians who were born and grew up in the Ukraine; to the rising influence on the Kiev rule from those advocates of radicalism and even fascism.

1. THE USA AND EU LEADERS' SUPPORT FOR THE MILITARY COUP D’ÉTAT IN KIEV AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

It’s not for the benefit of the Russian Federation, the USA and the EU if our multi-million nations regard each other as enemies. It’s not for the benefit of the Russian Federation, the USA and the EU if we heat the climate of conflict. Actual situation is sad not least because the unconstitutional, military takeover in Kiev, destruction of the Ukrainian constitutional head of State by militants was in an instant supported by the USA and EU leaders.

Indeed, the USA and other NATO members sent war-ships to Russia’s Black Sea shore.

The leaders of the USA and most of the EU Member States continued doing everything to prevent functioning the legitimately elected head of State and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine Yanukovitch; supporting the regime of Yatsenuk which has yet demonstrated examples of cruel lawlessness; which has turned previously peaceful country into the dangerous one for the life of the most citizens; which has broken the agreement with Ukrainian President Yanukovitch to settle the Ukrainian crisis, signed by itself; which has dissolved the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

2. SELF-PROCLAIMED REGIME IN KIEV IS NOT A GOOD FOR THE WORLD

One of the earliest legislative innovations of the new regime is the denial to recognize the Russian language as the second state language. Even more, new Ukrainian authority’s self-esteem has appeared in public offence of Russian language and the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine; in sneering at the law enforcement officers; insulting feelings of that majority of descendants of Russians and Ukrainians, whose fathers and grandfathers fought side by side in the Red Army; heroizing those Ukrainian nationalists who cooperated with fascists.

Tough actions of Kiev’s new regime — to close Russian channels; to lead to Odessa militants of the «Right Sector», who, along with local special forces, beat and killed people running and jumping from burning building because of their opposition to Kiev regime; to arrest and imprison Russian-speaking leaders from the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine — Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov — who don’t agree with new regime; all that have become the talk of the town.

The new Kiev’s regime itself has become a source of political, legal, economic instability in Ukraine. It’s the new Kiev’s authority who is responsible for death of many civilians, for blood flown in Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk, Odessa.
It’s a fact that the U. S. President and heads of EU institutes have rapidly supported the new Kiev regime. History, nations, including those of the USA and the EU, will bring in a verdict on it in future.

3. THE NECESSITY TO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF ETHNIC RUSSIANS IN UKRAINE IS A PRECONDITION OF POLITICAL AND LEGAL STABILITY.

Every new act of military violence against local inhabitants in Eastern Ukraine that is perpetrated by Kiev authorities and is plotted by nationalists and even pro-fascists gives rise to new outcries and provokes further confrontation in Ukraine.

Russian-speaking population of the south-eastern regions of Ukraine demands the respect for their rights, traditions, culture and language.

Ethnic Russians in Ukraine, particularly in the south-eastern regions, are not a minority. The territory that has been an independent state of Ukraine since 1991 previously was a part of the USSR, and even earlier — for centuries — it was a part of the Russian Empire. This is a historic evidence.

Many people in Ukraine speak Russian as a first language and consider Russia a closely related country rather than a foreign one. Russian-speaking people in Ukraine are not immigrants. They were born there. This is the land of their parents and ancestors. Ukraine is their Slavic motherland. Russian culture and history are their native. There are many family linked people in Russia and Ukraine.

It is pointless to disregard these basic facts. However, the US and the EU Mass Media,including reputable television broadcasting companies, ignore these facts and present the situation in such a manner that Ukraine has been allegedly invaded by «pro-Russian separatists» that have set up authority over the local residents. In fact, it is vice versa. The local residents rejected the officials appointed by the self-proclaimed current commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine Mr. Turchinov. Eventually this fraud will be revealed.

4. THE MASS HYSTERIA THE US AND EU TOP OFFICIALS OVER CRIMEA: FORGERIES IN PUBLIC STATEMENTS.

The declaration of the will of the Crimeans before carrying out a referendum was proclaimed illegal by the President of the USA and the EU heads of the states. It is not only an ignorance of the right of the Crimean nation to self-determination, even more so, this right is stated in the UN Charter. Millions of Crimean residents will never forget this offence.

It is also a pretext for the distorted coverage of this issue by the US and European heads of state. The members of Parliament as well as the nations have been misinformed about the alleged «annexation of Crimea by Russia». In fact, Crimea has been a part of Russia for centuries.

The fact that during the Soviet period back in 1954 Crimea was transferred from the Russian Federation to the Ukrainian Soviet republic did not have any international legal impact. It was merely a matter of administrative business. The Crimea remained in the same state, namely in the USSR with a capital in Moscow, which was at the same time the capital of Russia.

The year 1991 did witness the peaceful annexation of the Crimea by a new-born state of Ukraine, which had international legal consequences.

This annexation of Ukraine was carried out during 23 years, but at observance of a number of contractual conditions including the condition about the stay of the Russian Black Sea fleet in the Crimea.

Contrary to false information from the leaders of the USA and EU countries Russia didn’t send its military fleet into the Crimea for holding a referendum. The Russian Black Sea military fleet has been staying in the Crimea long ago (long before a referendum) during many centuries! And this fact is well-known.

Anticonstitutional coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014, violence revelry, the anti-Russian rhetoric and actions of Kiev authorities couldn’t be ignored by Crimea people of the Crimea. In such conditions holding the Crimean referendum, will expression in favor of return of Crimea people to the historical homeland — Russia — became the restoration of historical justice, realization of historically developed legal grounds. The destiny of the Crimea was decided by the will expression of Crimea people and the people of its historical homeland — Russia.

Mass meetings in all big cities of Russia in support of reunion with the Crimea after twenty three years of a break is a peculiar will expression of the multimillion people of Russia concerning its historical rights for the Crimea.

On such historical and legal background the lie about the Crimea duplicated today in the western countries promotes the growth in Russia of mass mistrust to institutes of the western democracy in general. Neither the Russians, nor the peoples of the world as a whole are interested in such a mistrust.

5. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL PRECEDENTS OF REALIZATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF SELF-DETERMINATION OF PEOPLES

The leadership of the USA and EU member states supported separation of Kosovo from Serbia though there was no referendum and no will expression of the people in Kosovo and though Serbia objected to the violation of Serbia’s territorial integrity by means of Kosovo separation.

But the leaders of the USA and the EU opposed in rigid tones the expressed will of Crimea people by means of a referendum and against realization by Crimea people of the principle of self-determination of peoples.
Both in the Crimea and in the whole Russia it is apprehended as quasi-legal hypocrisy and application of double standards.

We will remind of one more international legal precedent. According to the results of will expression by the people of Northern Schleswig in 1920 (plebiscite) this territory reunited with Denmark after 60 years of existing as a part of Germany-Prussia. Germany didn’t recognize the results of this will expression for a long time and had to accept this territorial change — restoration of historical justice, reunion of Northern Schleswig with its homeland — Denmark — only in 1955.

Neither the USA, nor the EU didn’t challenge and don’t challenge legitimacy of reunion of the territory of Northern Schleswig with Denmark. But they have challenged the legitimacy of the Crimea’s reunion with Russia.

6. PRIORITY ISSUE — THE FUTURE GOVERNMENT IN DONETSK, KHARKOV, IN THE LUHANSK. STATUS OF EASTERN AND OTHER RUSSIAN-SPEAKING REGIONS OF UKRAINE.

Despite numerous arrests by Kiev’s military forces of the leaders of the popular movement in the eastern and southern regions, despite armed attacks on civilians in these regions by the nationalist groups, first of all by the «Right sector», which in fact brought to power the current leaders in Kiev, the protest actions in these regions against a self-appointed Maidan power in Kiev continue. People die. People suffer in moral, economic and humanitarian dimensions. The burning of dozens peaceful protestors in Odessa is already called the crime of the century — «New Khatyn».

The lawlessness is spreading as show recent attacks by Kiev’s military forces on civilians in Donetsk.

We call for a civilized approach to the resolution of Ukrainian crisis. The further bloodshed in Ukraine must be prevented.

For this exists previously accorded basis — Agreement on the Settlement of political crisis, signed on February 21, 2014 by the President of Ukraine, opposition leaders (current Kiev leaders) and by the Foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France.

The latest international Memorandum agreed in April in Geneva by the heads of diplomatic agencies of Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine does not contradict to this Agreement.

International lawyers, Russian citizens in general are interested in restoring of the supremacy of law in Ukraine, to make public the truth of internal Ukrainian crisis and law applicable to come out of the crisis.

We believe that the lawyers and most US and EU citizens are interested in this as well.

The world at large is interested in this.

ON BEHALF OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE RUSSIAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION
Professor Anatoly Y.Kapustin June 2014

Translated from Russian into English
by MGIMO students
Danil Lyapchev, Ksenia Alferieva, Roksana Ganieva, Anna Chechulina, Kiril Kozin


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