• War in Ukraine: From Treaty to Treachery

    John Paull (see profile)
    Law, Political science, Peace, War, Ukraine, Russia, Nuclear disarmament, Treaties, Europe, History
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    When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022 [1], Russia was in breach of its assurances under the Budapest Memorandum, signed by Boris Yeltsin, on 5 December 1994 in Budapest. Consider some consequences and provisional lessons of the Ukraine-Russia War: (i) Do not relinquish nuclear weapons. No nuclear-armed state has ever been invaded; nuclear weapons have served as a deterrent. It is a counterfactual, but it is compellingly arguable, that a nuclear Russia would not have invaded a nuclear Ukraine. (ii) Do not trust treaties. Treaties, whether made with good or ill will, are subject to the double cross. In the case of the Budapest Memorandum, Vladimir Putin is the architect of the double-cross. (iii) The United Nations is a lame duck. The League of Nations failed and now its successor, the United Nations, is also failing at the singular task that could be hoped was its raison d’être - maintain peace, prevent war. These three joyless conclusions from the Ukraine-Russia war are destructive of worthy and cherished values. The United Nations has failed to prevent the Russia-Ukraine war, it has failed to prevent a nuclear power invading a non-nuclear power, it has failed to rein in a rogue state threatening the world with nuclear catastrophe. These are serious failures that call into question the UN’s fitness for purpose. The realisation dawns once again that a single rogue individual with malevolent intent can threaten the peace of the world.
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    Conference proceeding    
    Last Updated:
    12 months ago


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