Archive for April 26th, 2014


Article 51 Charter of the United Nations

April 26, 2014

This is perhaps worthy of a read in the current circumstances.

Article 51 Charter of the United Nations

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.


Because Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin raised the issue of Russian troops entering Ukraine under that provision on Russia 1 TV.

Naturally the UN Security Council will be ineffective as Russia holds the power of veto within it should the other Security Council members rally against using this Article for Russian troops to enter Ukraine.

Clearly although the Russian Federation Council has already granted Mr Putin the right to use troops across the territory of Ukraine, the domestic Russian audience needs no convincing that any military incursion into Ukraine would be legal from a Russian perspective – however it seems quite clear that The Kremlin is seeking to find some form of international legality to mitigate/justify/legitimise its intentions.

As I have written already, Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doesn’t cover it.

Does Article 51?  It seems more than a little bit of a stretch!

However, the fact that The Kremlin still seeks to mask its ambitions within the cloak of international law may not be an entirely bad thing – certainly far better than giving up all pretext that international law matters to The Kremlin.

It won’t help Ukraine naturally, as for The Kremlin, Ukraine is – and will remain – a zero sum calculation regardless of the cost.

A Kremlin military adventure into Ukraine to “maintain or restore international peace and security” soon, and also long enough to undermine and negate any chance of a free and fair election on 25th May?

As I wrote yesterday, the clock is ticking for The Kremlin to make decisions amongst a heap of bad options.

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