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Law or force, what will BSEC choose?

willisman

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The activity of international regional Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) is aimed at development of lasting and close cooperation among the countries of Black Sea region. This organization integrates 12 states of Black Sea region: Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Three states – Greece, Bulgaria and Romania – are the EU members. Some more 13 states, including the USA, Germany, France and Italy have an observer status. High observer status shows good potential and serious prospects for the cooperation development between the regional states within BSEC. Organisation covers the territory of more than 20 mln square kilometres with about 350 mln population and concentrates 5% of the world trade. Consequently the states that have special interest in Black Sea region are interested in promotion of mutual projects in key branches of economy, strengthening of interaction and extension of cooperation.

State-parties to the organization consider cooperation within BSEC “as a part of integration process in Europe on the basis of human rights and fundamental freedoms, prosperity with respect to economic freedom, social justice as well as equal safety and stability”. Apparently, such cooperation may be effective only upon condition of adherence to BSEC Statute and international law provisions by all the participants of this organization.

However, the development of international situation and the fact that the actual presidency in BSEC in the first half-year of 2016 belongs to Russia predicate certain reflections. Namely: the organization which is called to develop cooperation based on the good neighbourhood currently is presided by the state which has broken all possible international law provisions, shook the foundations of the postwar world order, destroyed the system of international security, encroached the territory of sovereign and independent state and not only unlawfully annexed Crimea but continued supporting illegal armed groups at the east of Ukraine. Considering the fact that in fact Russia is an aggressor-state, quite appropriate question arose: “How does such conduct of the state presiding in the BSEC correlate with the principles declared by this organisation?!”

According to the BSEC Statute, Article 13, the presiding state shall ensure the proper work of the organization. The main purpose of the BSEC is fostering all-round cooperation and interaction between the regional states in the most diverse fields: trade, economic development, finances; development of communications, energetic field etc., based on good-neighbourly relations, mutual understanding and mutual respect.

However for more than two years the whole world may observe the Russia’s frank and brutal violations of international law and the main principles underlying the statutes of international organizations where it participates. It particularly regards the BSEC where Russia currently presides. The Russia’s actions are the main destabilizing factor in the region. But at the same time Russia refuses to discuss them and in response to numerous charges claims cynically that “it is not worth politicizing the economic cooperation format”. However, the obvious thing is that the development of effective economic cooperation directly depends on political climate and trust level between the regional states. In current situation it is impossible as Russia seriously destabilizes the situation in the region in a whole by unlawful Crimea annexing, aggression in Ukraine and activities in respect of Turkey. Also the fact of cooperation development and implementation of the new projects under the circumstances of tough trade and economic sanctions against the other BSEC members, such as Ukraine, Moldova and Turkey, represents the source of bewilderment.

Moreover, in the context of application of international and particularly European sanctions to Russia it look a perfect fright when it comes to the discussion of extending economic cooperation and strengthening interaction with other international organizations, such as UNO and EU. That seems to be much more bewildering as Moscow in spite of international pressure still does not intend to change its policy in respect of Ukraine. Moreover Russia keeps making efforts to legitimize Crimea occupation ...

Source: Page not found - GroundReport
 
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