The rule in international law which prohibits forcible seizure of territory has lately come under pressure, for example when Russia seized and annexed Crimea in 2014. In the presentation, we will take a look back at the history of this rule, including the Western non-recognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States in 1940-1991, of which Mälksoo has written a leading monograph. Current threats to the rule will be discussed such as the ideas that great powers are entitled to historic justice which may differ from what international law dictates or there is a regional international law dictated by the leading great power in the region. With President Putin's demands to the US and NATO, these international legal questions have again become utterly topical.
Lauri Mälksoo is Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu in Estonia, member of the Institut de Droit International and of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He has published widely on Russian and Soviet approaches to international law and human rights, including the monograph "Russian Approaches to International Law" (OUP, 2015).
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