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Eastern and Southern Ukraine’s Right to Secede and Join the Russian Federation

https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2015-3-1-33-57

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Abstract

This article answers a multi-faceted question: do the people occupying the region of Eastern and Southern Ukraine have the right to secede from Ukraine and merge with the Russian Federation? It also evaluates the legal status of the economic sanctions imposed upon the Russian Federation for its alleged interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

The argument proceeds from the assumption that the international legal system does not repose on a foundation of empirical validity, but rather upon sets of authoritative statements, insusceptible of verification. In this context, the article constructs an argument based upon relevant public international law texts, interpreted according to contemporary jurisprudential thought and principles of statutory construction partially embodied in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969, the implied right of secession contained in the UN General Assembly’s Declaration on Friendly Relations of 1970, and the need to achieve pragmatic results to legal questions. The argument thus avoids traditional doctrinal analysis and the mud of history.

In short, the people occupying the region of Eastern and Southern Ukraine have the right to secede from Ukraine and merge with the Russian Federation, and the economic sanctions imposed against the Russian Federation for its presumed interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine are illegal under the United Nations Charter and the World Trade Organisation.

 

About the Authors

John J.A. Burke
Almaty Management University
Kazakhstan

Professor of Law and Director of the LL.M. Programme, School of Law

227 Rozybakiev str., Almaty, 050060, Republic of Kazakhstan



Svetlana Panina-Burke
Independent
Kazakhstan

227 Rozybakiev str., Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan;

Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, Ukrainian State Marine Technical University (1997)



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For citation:


Burke J., Panina-Burke S. Eastern and Southern Ukraine’s Right to Secede and Join the Russian Federation. Russian Law Journal. 2015;3(1):33-57. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2015-3-1-33-57

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)