Bound by treaty: Russia, Ukraine and Crimea

(By Deutsche Welle) The EU and the US have accused Russia of violating international law by intervening in Crimea. DW examines the agreements that are supposed to govern relations between Moscow and Kyiv.

As successor states to the Soviet Union, both Ukraine and Russia are signatories to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Adopted in Helsinki in 1975, the document sought to promote détente during an era of Cold War geopolitical tensions in Europe.

With the end of the East-West confrontation, the CSCE evolved into the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest security forum. The OSCE has 57 member states, including Russia and Ukraine.

The Final Act obligates its signatories to “refrain…from the threat or use of force” against each other. According to the act, participating states “regard as inviolable one another’s frontiers” and “will refrain now and in the future from assaulting those frontiers.” They “will respect the territorial integrity of each of the participating states” and “will likewise refrain from making each other’s territory the object of military occupation.”

In addition, the participating states agree to “refrain from any intervention, direct or indirect, in the internal or external affairs” of another participating state.

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