I have not too much time, so I’ll outline a few basic points only.
For many of us it is difficult to accept that Russia is moving towards fascism or even that the current Russian regime, or “Putinism”, is a fascist one; so called “fascism with a Russian face”. I’m sure that many Russians would strongly disagree with that; and not only Russians but also not a few Western scholars. There could be various reasons for that.
However, it is important to call things by their proper names, to call a spade a spade.
The main goal of my speech is to highlight one of the scientific forecast of the Russian regime dynamics. The word “scientific” is stressed as far as it is especially unacceptable to mix propaganda and agitation with scientific forecast. Whatever huge amount of propaganda is available, no scientific forecast can be based upon it.
There are two terms in the header of my speech that belong to the different semantic planes. Simulative democracy unlike the neo-totalitarianism is not the type of political regime. However, I put these two points in the header because the direction between the two most clearly characterizes a vector in which the current Putin's regime moves.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia faced a complex set of problems, the solution of which was historically significant for it. The inertia of that disintegration continued inside the Russian Federation itself, as the nuclei of the Russian and Soviet empires. So Russia was in a systemic crisis facing the threat of economic, social, and geopolitical disaster and the loss of its own statehood. Awareness of the consequences of the collapse of the USSR led the Russian elite and the Russian society to understanding the loss of the status of the Great Nation. Thus, the return of this status has been perceived as a fundamental need for Russia. Hence, the return was understood as the return of the former territories of the Russian Empire to Russia and the restoration of the influence of the former USSR in the world.
1. Analysis of the current state of the economy of Russia.
Current economic situation in real terms. Despite the continued favourable for the Russian Federation international economic situation at the energy markets in the first half of 2018, the development of its economy was characterized by the low rate of growth.
I have prepared my presentation in English. First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of this excellent conference for very representative and very interesting presentations. The central topic of my presentation will be dealing with the issue of the issue of sanctions. And I decided to abstract myself in this presentation from political or sociological aspects, and to present a picture what can be described in terms of legal dogmatics.
First of all, regarding the title of my presentation, I would slightly change it: I would like to make it more concrete. I would introduce as a sub-title another sort of a sentence: How to make Russia stop war against Ukraine, and how to liberate occupied Crimea and Donbas by using sanctions. Whether we can do it, or we are helpless.
Even official statistics confirm that more than ten thousand Ukrainians have perished during more than five years of the war as a result of Russian armed aggression, almost thirty thousand have been wounded and mutilated, and millions have been forced to leave their homes.
The main issue that worries everyone is how to restore peace, to return all our territories and to live further, with a neighbouring nuclear power that does not recognize the rules on which the world is kept?
I am sure that there is no alternative to strengthening the Ukrainian army, but at the same time, the last thing the country has to pay for the liberation of its land is the life of her soldiers.
1. We will only talk about lawsuits that lie in the plane of international public law, that is, suits of the "Ukraine" state against the "Russia" state. Claims of legal entities, business entities and private enterprises are the subject of a separate investigation.
2. The importance of opening a legal front is a confrontation between Russian articulations. This adds a significant and strong enough component to the military and diplomatic front. Of course, it started a little late, since claims against Russia were formulated only at the end of 2016 and early 2017, that is, almost three years after the occupation of the Crimea and the beginning of the war in the Donbas. This three-year pause, our Foreign Ministry argued for the need for bilateral consultations with Russia for the purpose of a so-called pre-trial settlement. International judicial bodies, in particular the International Court of Justice, do require such consultations, but three years are many. But on the whole, attempts to attract Russia to international legal responsibility are an absolute positive.
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be in Kyiv as a guest of the Center for Russian Studies and Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. I’m conscious that we are going into our discussion time so I shall restrict myself to 10 minutes.
The usual disclaimers apply: I am speaking on my own behalf, not for the University of Cambridge or any other institution.
The organizers of today’s workshop have invited me to address some issues of the legal response in the West to aggression against Ukraine. I would like to say a brief word about sanctions, which constitute an important part of the response, and then to make some observations about judicial and arbitral proceedings, which also have some relevance to Ukraine’s situation.