Russian Approaches to the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination: From the 1966 United Nations Covenants to Crimea
Keywords: national self-determination, sovereignty, national boundaries, interventions
AbstractTwo moments proved decisive for the development of the right of peoples to self determination in Russia, related to the Soviet approach in the de-colonisation era, as manifested in the 1966 United Nations Covenants, and Russia’s approach to this right after the 2014 annexation of Crimea: with its annexation of Crimea, Russia, just as the Soviet Union had in 1966, challenged the universality of the right to self-determination. The paper examines theory and practice of the right of peoples to self-determination in Russian context from a historical-legal perspective, to trace the roots of the contradictions found in Russia’s current approach to that right. Aimed at understanding the specifics of the Soviet approach to self-determination and considering the case of Crimea in light of analogies between the past and present approaches to the right, the discussion posits the existence of a link between the Soviet and the Russian approach to self-determination, on the basis of legal ties between post-1991 Russia and the Soviet Union established under the doctrine of state succession or continuity. The article offers support for the hypothesis that the current Russian approach to self-determination resembles the Soviet one in demonstrating legal flexibility characterised by self-interest, hypocrisy, and double standards. This calls for renewed discussion of the influence of Soviet international legal thinking on that of contemporary Russia.
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How to Cite
Poghosyan, S. (2021). Russian Approaches to the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination: From the 1966 United Nations Covenants to Crimea. Juridica International, 30, 183-193. https://doi.org/10.12697/JI.2021.30.20