Ukraine & the International Law to Putin: Pacta Non Sunt Servanda

A pro-Russian separatist near the town of Slaviansk, in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

"I spent the weekend talking to leaders across Europe, and I think the world is largely united in recognizing that the steps Russia has taken are a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, their territorial integrity — that they're a violation of international law (..)" -- President Obama

Vlad Putin must have laughed when he heard the above statement. He knows that even though "States face an international environment in which complying with international law is valued and noncompliance is in almost all situations a negative" (Ian Hurd in Law and the practice of diplomacy) the West may not act because the history of contemporary events shows him that states are often more than willing to ignore the international law when it suits their national interests.
So, Putin will proceed with his ambitions in Eastern-Ukraine.

Pacta sunt servanda
"The principle of pacta sunt servanda (agreements should be honoured) is the central norm of international law and politics." (idem)

Tsar Vlad has been around in politics long enough to know that this principle is not always complied by states. For instance:

The Declaration of San Remo Peace Conference, the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate (a binding legal instrument) recognised "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country". The UN Charter (article 80), drafted upon its creation in 1945, clearly states that the principle of recognising the validity of the rights of states acquired under existing international instruments was to be respected.

The West has incessantly been violating the international law & agreements with utter impunity: it gave land to the Jewish people to form their Homeland after it retrieved 80% of the territory designated to them in the Mandate to appease Arabs (first illegality); then it intended to divide the remaining 20% with more Arabs (second illegality) and when it didn't work (due to the Arab rejection, representing, thus, an annulment of the UN Resolution 181) the West supported the establishment of a Palestinian State for Arabs (third illegality, because the international instruments and law had established that Palestine was the Historical Homeland of the Jewish People alone).

With the above in mind how can president Putin feel encouraged to comply with international agreements and laws? If in the comfort of his palace, drinking shots of vodka, he recalls how the West let the Serbian-Kosovars down (after having been persecuted, expropriated, slaughtered and subjected to dhimmitude for centuries by foreign Muslim forces); how it allowed China to occupy Tibet; how the West remains silent before the Kashmir-Jammu issue and how it played with many countries in Latin-America (giving rise to the leftist movements that practically stifled the region's social development); Vladimir Putin has grounds to believe that his Crimea move, and a possible East Ukraine incursion, will not bear major consequences (i.e. military action).

Pacta non sunt servanda: President Putin doesn't feel particularly compelled to comply with the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Council for Security and Co-operation in Europe Charter and the Budapest Memorandum; not when the international community keeps reminding the world that the principle of noncompliance can be upheld with impunity.

My sympathies go to the Ukrainians who will probably be let down by the West.
Europe and the US might let Kiev go under not because they do not wish to help (for they do) but because their vulnerabilities have been exposed by Vlad Putin: the EU realised that its successive cuts in the Defence budget (to be able to spend more on welfare) depleted its military capabilities (and the UK and France who are the most capable military powers [representing 50% of the EU's military capability] are engaged in more pressing missions in Africa); the US doesn't have the appetite to get involved in yet another conflict (and even if it had, some analysts say that it would need at least 6 months to prepare for it) and would rather focus on diplomacy - which would only take us back to the point made in the beginning of this article.

"States' references to law and lawfulness in explaining their actions often mask rule-violation" -- idem

Vladimir Putin knows all the above and so he derides the double-standards of those who threaten him and his regime...


  1. This week I am the first to comment, yupiii hahaha!
    My focus will go to a point that is too important as far as I'm concerned: yeah, the international community, the US in particular, broke the international law the moment they tried to give our land to the Arabs! You did a brilliant job explaining that here, Max! What shocks me the most is John Kerry: WTF is he doing and saying? Doesn't he read history, doesn't he read past agreements, why doesn't Obama just sack him?
    So yeah, Putin feels at sufficient ease to cheat and grab land from Ukraine, then Moldova, then the whole of Georgia, Armenia etc etc etc cause he knows pacta non sunt servanda and the US is the first to say it!

    1. Hi Ana :D!

      lol yes, you are.
      Well, John Kerry may be part of a club and thus have a considerable amount of clout. If that's the case, he was placed in that position for a reason and it may prove difficult to sack him just like that (especially if favours are involved). Ms Susan Rice is looking better by the minute, in hindsight.
      Good point. Let's see how the pieces will be moved...

      Ana, thank you so much for your great comment :D.


  2. Putin will invade Ukraine. I just want to know what Europe will do about it, probably nothing but there is also a chance that they will actually do something, let's wait and see. The only problem is till then the Ukrainians have to prove they are serious about wanting their sovereignty and fight for it; only then the US may get up on her ass and do something too. When Obama said Putin was breaking the international law even I cracked up! Is he f***ing kidding me? He and Kerry broke the international law so many times I lost count by now. Before demanding others to comply with agreements and laws, the US should comply with them first: start by supporting Israel and do what's right!

    1. Hi Adam :D!

      You reckon? In your opinion the Ukrainian are not serious about their sovereignty, how did you come to that conclusion?
      lol I hear you, man.

      Adam, thank you so much for your input :D.


  3. Great analysis! Loved the imagery of Putin sitting in his palace drinking vodka, in front of the fireplace? Yes, the guy is probably laughing at us all. I didn't know that Kosovo had been under dhimmitude, when was this? I haven't taken sides regarding Kosovo but I might now.

    1. Hi Michael :D!

      Thank you *bowing*. Yes, in front of the fireplace, why not? :)
      Around the 16th century if my memory doesn't fail me. Look it up: I promise you will love what you'll find.

      Mike, thank you so much for your comment :D. I appreciate it.


  4. Brilliant: "Pacta non sunt servanda: President Putin doesn't feel particularly compelled to comply with the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Council for Security and Co-operation in Europe Charter and the Budapest Memorandum; not when the international community keeps reminding the world that the principle of noncompliance can be upheld with impunity."
    This says it all. The US, the European countries etc have been breaking the law ever since they decided that Israel had to sacrifice their history and connection to their land to appease Arabs. Enough is Enough!
    Max, loved the article you shared on G+: proof that Abbas sabotaged the talks on purpose and had planned it way before meeting Obama at the WH. I would love to see Kerry's face now! What a blunder!

    1. Hi Celeste :D!

      Thanks *bowing*.
      I am glad you liked it. How incredible was that? During the whole peace process they knew they wouldn't accept one single proposal because they are not interested in doing so (basically a historical repeat). It's shameful. But at least, the proof was shared this time.
      Indeed, I too would like to see Sec Kerry's face...he must be feeling less intelligent now. Duped right under his nose.

      Celeste, thank you for your comment, my dear :D.


  5. Ha ha, its an interesting catch-22, I think you have nailed it well and very rightly. Now just to add one more thought to this, the so called borders across the world are very superficial borders, which get created mainly on considerations of ethnicity, language and maybe some more factors and one day those become the untouchable lines or barriers almost in a bid to safeguard that nations resources.

    Just consider for a moment the Indian sub-continent for instance where India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were all part of the same nation, but once the British divided it, today all 3 are at loggerheads and every infiltration into each others nation is viewed with scorn by the people of that nation. I would tend to believe the common man today are more inclined towards homogoneous groupings with sentiments play a large role and ultimately wherever in the world, it should be left to the people to decide where they want to stay rather than politics or diplomacy playing part in it.

    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      It is, isn't it?
      You know, K, I am very much inclined to agree with you on the superficial borders issue. They were created with utter disrespect for ethnicity, history, traditions etc and created more problems than "peace". I think we may be nearing a time when history may prevail over politics.
      I read an article that suggested that Europeans and Americans had an interest in distancing politics from history and focus on the diplomacy of the "now"; however, history seemed to be pulling us back in again (as Putin has showed the world) - would you agree?

      I agree with you on the British division of the Indian sub-continent and the consequences of such act. I would leave things to the people if the people knew what they want (the Egyptian revolutionaries showed us that they are good at saying what they don't want, and fight against it, but then have a hard time organising themselves to say what they want and fight for it). Plus, the people have the tendency to want a leader and if they happen to choose the wrong one...they/we, eventually go back to where they/we started.

      Complex issues, eh? :)

      K, thank you so much for your input :D. I appreciate and love it.



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