The Age of Sustainable Development

Ukraine and the Crisis of International Law

March 24th, 2014, 1 Comment

NEW YORK – Russia’s actions in Ukraine constitute a serious and dangerous violation of international law. In 1994, Ukraine agreed to give up the nuclear weapons it had inherited from the Soviet Union, in return for a solemn commitment by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russia has now violated that pledge, not only harming Ukraine but also undermining the international legal framework for preventing nuclear proliferation.

Unless Russia changes course – which seems unlikely anytime soon – the global consequences are apt to be grave. The US and the European Union will impose sanctions, weakening Russia’s economy and the world economy – and stoking even more tension and nationalism. Mistakes on one side or the other could lead to violent disaster. We need only to recall the spiral of hubris and miscalculation that led to the outbreak of World War I, a century ago this year.

Read the full article at Project Syndicate



Bryan March 25, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I have studied World War 1, and wondered to myself if this is how it felt to the people of the time, great powers posturing for position while knowing all along that it would lead to disaster?


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