Breaking diplomatic relations with Russia - essence and consequences

Author : Olexiy Buriachenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

In fact, diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation are at a very low level, and at the level of the embassies of both countries almost nothing is solved
22:36, 4 December 2018

112 Agency

First of all, the issue of diplomatic relations does not need to be superficially perceived, like, "if there are diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation - it means we are friends," or "we have no such links, so we are enemies." The question of diplomatic relations is much deeper conceptually and in its essence. Thus, the diplomatic relations, in accordance with the norms of international law, primarily the Vienna Convention on International Relations (adopted on April 18, 1961, ratified on March 21, 1964 and entered into force on July 12, 1964), are designed to promote friendly relations between states and maintain international peace and security.

It is the presence of diplomatic relations between countries that allows them to implement their legal actions mutually and effectively.

If it is simplified, then such relations are a formal diplomatic platform between states that officially recognize each other and through their official representatives (ambassadors, authorized representatives, etc.) can effectively solve common economic and political issues. That is, it is not a platform for the protection of the violated rights of a particular guest worker, it is a platform for effective interaction of states at the macro level.

Consequences in case of termination of the diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation: these countries will lose the legitimate opportunity to adopt joint agreements at the intergovernmental level, and all further official diplomatic activities will be carried out with the participation of a third party.

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Diplomatic relations do not automatically entail a break of the consular ones. It is consulates that are primarily responsible for protecting the rights of citizens in the territory of another state. There are currently four our consulates in the territory of the Russian Federation - in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Rostov-on-Don.

Diplomatic relations between two countries can take place without the presence of embassies. There are such examples in recent history (Iran-USA, Georgia-Russia). So, according to Art. 45 of the aforementioned Convention, it is possible to agree with a third party, which will represent the political and economic interests of Ukraine during the break or suspension of the diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation. In the case of the United States and Georgia, Switzerland assumed this mission.

I can also dispel the myth that breaking up or suspending such links means automatically declaring war. History knows the different cases of the breaking of diplomatic relations, in most of which this did not entail any hostilities, but it became a significant focus for the international community and an element of sanctions pressure. For example, we can recall such cases between Cuba and the USA (1961), the USA and Iran (1980), the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, the Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Summarizing, it can be stated that in fact diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation are at a very low level, and in fact at the level of the embassies of both countries almost nothing is solved. For years, the issues of protecting the rights of political prisoners in the Kremlin have only been resolved at the highest level and necessarily with the involvement of third parties (Germany, France, the USA).

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At the moment, martial law, caused by aggressive actions of the Russian Federation, is already in force in Ukraine. A number of official statements condemning the actions of the Russian Federation by the leaders of European countries, the UN and the OSCE have already been recorded. That is, Ukraine has every reason to revise the current state of its diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation. If we consider the options for termination and suspension of such links, a priority, of course, is precisely the option of suspending and defining a third party for negotiations, for example, Germany, which is the core state of the EU.

Also, the situation in the Kerch Strait has disturbed a number of European countries in terms of collective security and defense issues. It is already possible to trace the question of Ukraine joining the bloc in the rhetoric of the NATO representatives.

Trade relations - is it worth getting rid of them and how is it possible? Are there still situations in which Ukraine may be economically dependent on the aggressor country?

Trade relations with the aggressor should be minimized as much as possible (perhaps, with the exception of those strategically important goods, which have no analogues). In the recent history there is a remarkable example, when before the war of the Russian Federation with Georgia their joint trade turnover amounted to almost 85%. After the war, when Georgia completely reoriented its trade turnover to other markets, the Russian share was only 10%. Thus, as one of the consequences, Georgia minimized the influence of Russian capital on its domestic policy, which used to be almost monopolistic.

There is only one question - whether Ukrainian financial and industrial oligarchic groups will be able to refuse to do business with the Russian Federation, given that Russia is not interested in losing its economic influence on the territory of Ukraine.

Regarding the possibility of complete economic dependence of Ukraine from the Russian Federation – no, we are not dependent. Four years of war and partial reorientation of markets significantly reduced the economic influence of the Russian Federation comparing with 2013.

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