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UBC Theses and Dissertations

On the relevance of international law, theories of international relations and the Crimean case Burzo, Stefano


The Russian Federation claims the 2014 Crimea reunification is legal. Ukraine, together with NATO countries and others, deems the annexation illegal. Both states agree on most of the facts, with a few significant exceptions, and both states argue their case in terms of international law, on which they both generally agree. Hence, what is the point of international law? Does it have a discernible and independent effect on international politics? If so, is it in principle possible to observe it? This work attempts to be an analysis of these questions in the reunification/annexation of Crimea by Russia of 2014, to see whether an answer can in fact be given. The aim is to address the position of the Russian legal arguments within current international law, together with its implications for two of the currently most credited theories of international politics.

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