Russia presented to the Security Council of United Nations a list of cases in which international law was violated by the USA and Great Britain
Russia responded with honor and dignity to accusations of breaches of international law, pressed by diplomatic delegations of some countries. On February 15, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN Pyotr Ilyichov presented to the Security Council an “express review” of cases of disregard for international law shown by the USA and Great Britain. Of course, this list is not comprehensive, but there is enough evidence to see who it is that violates the sovereignty of other nations.
“Today, some delegations were pressing against Russia groundless accusations of disobeying the principles of the UN Charter. To prevent these fantasies from leaving wrong impressions, allow me to introduce an “express review” of the most horrible cases of disregard for international law, and goals and principles of the UN Charter. Now, decades after those events, many seem to have forgotten about them,” said Pyotr Ilyichov at the debates devoted to preservation of international peace and security.
The list begins with the 1964’s bombing of the city of Harib in Yemen by the British air forces, and is concluded by the recent incidents in Libya and Syria. This was Moscow’s official response to accusations against the Russian Federation concerning the revolution in Ukraine and reunion of Russia and Crimea. However, the focus of attention remains on the Syrian crisis. There are continuous debates on the possibility of a military ground operation of the US and UK armies in Syria. The regional powers, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, also threaten to invade. Russia is the only nation whose armed forces had been legitimized to enter Syria, and yet, they are blamed for victims among civilians, and disrupted civic infrastructure. The ill enthusiasm of the Russian opponents should be moderated by showing them that crime will never go unpunished, and strong moral codes will never be distorted.
The Russian “express review” highlights that all higher structures of the UN – Security Council, General Assembly and International Court of Justice – had repeatedly condemned the atrocities committed by the USA and Great Britain, but every time, both would keep a dry skin in the water.
“In 1964, Great Britain dropped bombs on the Yemeni city of Harib. The Security Council issued Resolution 188, condemning those actions as repressions inconsistent with the goals and principles of the United Nations. In 1983, the USA invaded Grenada. The General Assembly responded with Resolution 37/8, calling that military operation ‘a rude violation of international law’,” Ilyichov reminded.
In 1986, the US attacked Libya, which was qualified by the General Assembly as “a breach of the UN Charter and international law”. In 1989, the American forces invaded Panama, which was also described as “an outrageous violation of international law”.
Preparing an F-111 strategic bomber to a sortie to Libya in 1986. Photo by: U.S. DefenseImagery
“Such violations had been repeatedly registered by the International Court of Justice, UN’s major judicial institution. For instance, the Corfu Channel incident in 1946 was its first case, in which the Court recognized the fact of Great Britain’s assault on the sovereignty of Albania. Another well-known case is Nicaragua vs USA. In 1986, the Court stated that the USA violated the sovereignty of Nicaragua and breached the UN principles of non-interference and non-use of force in international relations. It should be noted that the USA pointedly resumed the actions condemned by the Court,” the Russian Representative informed.
The USA and their allies continued their expansionist activity ignoring the UN Charter. “Obviously, presumption of their own exceptionality has for long time allowed some nations to rank their interests above the goals and principles of the UN,” concluded the Russian diplomats.
So far, there is only a minor notification of the Russian review on the website of the UN. The news report includes none of the actual accusations. The full text of Pyotr Ilyichov’s speech is available in Russian on the website of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations.
Syria also on the list
The report of the Russian Mission is especially acute in the context of events in Syria. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Delsi Rodriguez, who had presided over the debates, noted that certain states, egoistically following their national interests, interfered in Syrian domestic affairs. As she said, developing countries obey the UN Charter, while mighty powers act in violation of international law, resorting to “unilateral aggression”.
Someone has to be convicted for war crimes, and Russia has recently been the one to put blame on. Shortly after the start of the Russian military operation in Syria, Moscow faced accusations of civilian deaths. As of now, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been accused of bombing the hospital of Médicins Sans Frontières. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon already proclaimed the Russian aviation strikes as “an outrageous violation of international law”. The American Department of State maintains the same attitude. In his stead, Ambassador of Syria to Russia Riad Haddad made a statement that the aviation strike on the hospital was an action of the USA. History knows a curious if tragic precedent: on October 3, 2015 American air forces demolished another hospital of MSF.
Neither US, nor UN can provide any evidence to their statements except accusations brought against Russia by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. However, Ankara itself is not clean of suspicions in war crimes; the Security Council had already held a closed meeting on February 16, where Turkish artillery strikes on the Syrian Kurds were brought to attention by Russian diplomats.
The Internet holds the full record of USA’s global crimes committed since the XVII century. The period since the end of the World War II seems quite short in comparison, but it was enough to demonstrate the color of American foreign policy to the Security Council of the UN. According to the Charter of the universal organization, this institution bears responsibility for keeping international peace. Russia is the co-founder of and permanent representative in the Security Council, one of the most influential entities in global affairs. Importance of this role cannot be overestimated, and yet, some nations strive to diminish it. The major question of the day is whether the Security Council has got the political will to perform its duties accordingly to its mission. Sooner or later, war crimes of the “global policemen” must stop. However, it is not likely to happen while those guilty keep evading justice.
Translated by Daniil Yakovenko