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Monday, April 28, 2014

On Putin's Selective Recognition of National Sovereignty: Political Realism Undone?

On February 28, 2014, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Yurly Sergeyev informed the Security Council that Russia had invaded the Crimean Peninsula, a semi-autonomous region of the sovereign state. Heretofore, in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons, Russia had agreed in a treaty to respect the territorial borders of the Soviet Union’s former republic. After briefly discussing whether Putin’s land-grab should have come as a surprise to the world, I take a critical look at the Russian president’s rationale for invasion. I argue that political realism (i.e., strategic interests of particular states being the signature feature of international relations) undergirds Putin’s geo-political view. This foundation is problematic as evinced by Putin’s inconsistencies on national sovereignty.

The essay is at WR-International Relations: "Russia’s Putin on National Sovereignty"