Can the International Criminal Court (ICC) judge Russia? Legally no, but prosecutor Karim Khan has already announced that it will, even if Moscow never ratified the Rome Statute and in 2016 withdrew the symbolic signature it had provided at the origins of this institution.
Can a member state be prevented from accessing UN facilities or its accredited personnel be expelled from the host countries? Again, this is contrary to the very foundations of the so-called universal parliament.
Thus, these things reveal a biased functioning of the system intended to be the forum where peace is preserved, where States are regarded as equals and holders of sovereignty, which allows them to determine their actions and obligations.
The legality of Russia’s actions on Ukraine should be occupying international bodies and analysts, except that any position that is not in favor of the Ukrainian regime is subject to “sanctions”, such as expulsion from forums, jobs and universities, or disconnection from networks.
Thus, we are facing a scenario of the construction of a single perception of what is happening, which, undoubtedly, veils and unifies legal interpretations of the facts.
RUSSIA, A UN SECURITY COUNCIL COUNTRY
In the United Nations, the body in charge of maintaining peace and security is the Security Council. It has five permanent members and 10 members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The former have a series of privileges, such as the guarantee of their seat and the right to veto, which prevents the resolutions of the other members from being legally valid.
In relation to the latest events in Ukraine, the Security Council attempted to pass a resolution calling on Russia to stop the offensive and to withdraw its troops fully and unconditionally to its internationally recognized borders. It was vetoed by Russia, one of the permanent members.
From there, it can be seen how the angle now being promoted is to verify whether it is possible for Russia to lose its seat, or whether, despite the veto in the Security Council, there is some capacity in another instance capable of determining that the Russian action is not authorized by the UN. For this second strategy, they invoke an old resolution adopted on November 3, 1950, on the initiative of the then US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, which extends the peacekeeping powers of the UN General Assembly. It was given the number 377, the official name “Uniting for Peacekeeping” and the informal designation of the Acheson Resolution.
What is intended by this invocation is that the situation be treated as the existence of a breach of the peace in the face of which unanimity among the permanent members of the Security Council has not been achieved, thus empowering the General Assembly to take appropriate action.
With the extent of the media and psychological operations bombardment, one might assume that this is the first time that the Security Council has received a veto. However, we should remember how the invasion and occupation of Iraq at the beginning of this century was widely debated, given that it did not have sufficient international endorsements to be carried out.
This course of action became known as the “Bush Doctrine” centered on a speech by the President of the United States before the United Nations in 2002, where he proclaimed the legitimacy of a preemptive attack against any terrorist threat to the United States, with or without the necessary Security Council resolutions.
Following that event, the invasion of Iraq took place, led by the United States and the NATO member countries accompanied, among others, by Ukraine, which had sent a contingent of 1,650 soldiers.
THE PEACEFUL SOLUTION
In the first article of the UN Charter we find that the fundamental vocation of this organization is to promote a non-warlike solution to conflicts that may arise between member countries. Therefore, the open decision to oppose negotiation meetings between delegations from Ukraine and Russia taken by several states, even sanctioning Belarus, which is an enclave for those meetings, is surprising to say the least.
These facts demonstrate the consolidation of a scheme of coercive diplomacy, which asserts the power of one State over another and breaks with the idea that it is only the UN, through due process, that can impose limitations on sovereign States.
Seen in this light, the situation thus raised exposes several long-standing issues that reveal a profound crisis of multilateralism and its fundamental principles. Now, activated in the function of favoring NATO’s positions, discarding the basic rules regarding the treatment of a member state and activating all instances to increase the encirclement policy that, at least since 2015, the United States has maintained on Russia.
HUMAN RIGHTS, A WEAPON OF CONVENIENCE
The “coincidence” of the ICC Prosecutor’s statement warning that he will investigate the actions of a non-party State, and the receipt of Ukraine’s complaint (38 countries submitted data on “Russian actions”, according to British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss) for genocide against Russia to the International Court of Justice, it is important to take into account that several of the elements of this conflict seem to reveal significant violations of human rights and are not being considered as such.
On the contrary, they are justified within the rhetoric of the vaunted legitimacy to attack Russia.
Some examples would be:
- The criminalization of Russian press agencies and networks, including their workers, collaborators (permanent or occasional), denying Russia the right to give its version and affecting freedom of expression and information in the West.
- The growing and tolerated criminalization of various Russian citizens, who are being subjected to individualized “sanctions” in civilian areas, such as music, education or sports.
- The toleration and promotion of the arming of Ukraine, including civilians, by UN member states.
- The deeply racist and historically unfounded approach that claims that this is the only conflict of the present, or the only one that has occurred on European territory since 1945.
- Likewise, the neglect of allegations of ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity against populations of Russian cultural origin within Ukraine.
- In addition, the U.S. unitarity takes by the throat any hint of action against its exceptional jurisdiction, be it before the UN or the ICC.
In fact, in 2002 the Congress in Washington, D.C. issued the U.S. Service Personnel Protection Act, which protects “members of the Armed Forces of the United States, elected or appointed officials of the United States Government, and other persons employed by or working on behalf of the United States Government, while the United States is not a party to the International Criminal Court Convention” from the ICC. This is better known as the “Hague Invasion Act”, since the only way of forcible release of the persons sanctioned by the law would be possible only through an invasion of the city of The Hague in the Netherlands.
In this way, the more than 4 million victims of the US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and other countries would go unpunished.
Meanwhile, the criminalization of Russia continues from all possible sides in the West, in accordance with the prerogatives of the United States and NATO, in an attempt to override the sovereignty of the states that either escape or directly confront the Anglo-imperial hegemony.
Translation by Internationalist 360°