Thursday, 12 September 2013

The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not.- Vladimir V. Putin

President Obama meeting with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Northern Ireland in June. U.S. lawmakers and human-rights groups praised Obama's canceling talks. (AP File Photo)



Excerpts: 

Relations between us (Russia and America) have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

Read: Statement of the Africa Forum on the Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. 

The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.

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