Russia Might Care About the U.N. Charter More Than It Seems

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya addresses the United Nations Security Council, Jan. 31, 2022 (AP photo by Richard Drew).
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya addresses the United Nations Security Council, Jan. 31, 2022 (AP photo by Richard Drew).
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There has been no shortage of analyses of what has motivated Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine. Many of these arguments seem to implicitly assume that Russia is putting its geostrategic interests ahead of adherence to Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, which prohibits the use of armed conflict to resolve disputes absent self-defense or authorization from the Security Council. Similar arguments—that Russia is brazenly flouting and even threatening U.N. Charter norms—are being made in political speeches by leaders and representatives of the Western powers and U.N. member states. It is absolutely true that nothing less than the normative basis […]

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