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Court of Justice put the right of nations to self-determination above the principle of territorial integrity

Very soon we will be faced with yet another application of double standards. It’s about the former Soviet autonomies, which inspired by the decision of the Court, will require recognition of their independence too.

On July 22 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) confirmed that proclamation of Kosovo’s independence did not contradict international laws. And although the court’s decision is not mandatory, it finally put an end to the issue of the former colonies’ right to independence. It is quite likely that after the decision of the ICJ many states, which considered Kosovo part of Serbia, will recognize its independence. One could even say that the two-year fight of Kosovars for their rights produced the logical result.

PanARMENIAN.Net - However, not everything is as easy as it seems, and we will very soon be faced with yet another application of double standards. It’s about the former Soviet autonomies, which inspired by the decision of the Court, will require recognition of their independence too. First and foremost, these are Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdniestria. As for the former Georgian autonomies, they have been recognized by Russia and by another 2 or 3 states, but not by the U.S. and EU. The status of Transdniestria is not incomprehensible at all. Things are hardest with Nagorno-Karabakh, which declared independence 20 years ago, but never achieved recognition as an independent subject of international law. It would be naive to expect that anyone, including Armenia, would recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Moreover, after Kosovo various international platforms came to say that Kosovo cannot become a precedent for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In fact, in this case, we are dealing with a bright example of double standards, which are designed to hold Baku back. The logic of the West in this matter is quite clear – “oil in exchange for non-recognition”. By the way, a similar hypothesis in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “peace in exchange for territory” did not work, and all the more so cannot work in case of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Before sitting of the International Court, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stated that if the court decides in favor of the Kosovars, none of the disputed borders in the world could ever be considered safe. “The first and most important principle for any democratic government in the world is protection of its own sovereignty and territorial integrity,” declared the Foreign Minister of Serbia, BBC reports.

Political consequences of the verdict will appear not only on the post-Soviet territory, but also in Spain, China, Belgium, i.e. it will result in the redivision of the world formed after the Yalta treaty. In fact, the process of redivision started with the collapse of the Soviet Union and continues to this day. But, unfortunately, nobody can say when and how the recarving of borders will end, and how long the peoples can go on without bloodshed. We have been repeatedly writing that conflicts are rarely regulated at the negotiating table. A peace agreement is a result of a finished war, and once there is no agreement, then war is not over yet. Sad but true. But the thing is that in today’s geopolitical reality starting a war is a little difficult for newly created states, like Azerbaijan. Georgia has already made an attempt and lost its autonomies. The same fate awaits Azerbaijan. Things were somewhat different with Georgia: Russia came to the rescue of Ossetians and Abkhazians.

Armenians will not be expecting help from anywhere or anyone, and in the event of renewed hostilities, they’ll have to rely only on themselves, never reassuring themselves that the world powers will call Ilham Aliyev to order. They may also wait and see the outcome of the “blitzkrieg” promised by Baku. But on the other hand, the verdict of the Court of Justice, beyond question, put the right of nations to self-determination above the principle of territorial integrity. It is a very important and demonstrative fact. Another important fact is that the NKR may turn to the International Court of Justice, which is exactly what will be done.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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