Kick russia out of the UN
The initiative group of the Civic Hub “Kick russia out of the UN” was created and carries out its activities as an independent non-governmental and non-profit private public initiative aimed at studying the circumstances, documents and events that contributed to the entry of the russian federation into the United Nations and taking the place of the former USSR in the UN Security Council, as well as their acquisition and implementation of membership in other UN-related international organizations, an additional subject of research is the ways of holding the russian federation, its leadership and allies to account for starting an aggressive war and conducting it with medieval methods and further payment of reparations.
It is obvious that without excluding the russian federation from the UN, the list of war criminals who will be prosecuted and the amount of reparations will be determined by negotiations with the russian federation itself. After all, no ad hoc tribunal for crimes of aggression was created to circumvent the UN Charter in the course of interstate negotiations, no calls and decisions of quasi-legitimate courts will be perceived by such countries as the USA and Switzerland as sufficient arguments for the transfer of assets of financial resources, which has already been clearly demonstrated.
The Initiative Group includes lawyers, economists, specialists from various fields, including world-renowned scientists in the field of international law. The activities of the Initiative Group are strictly separated from political color in content, its members do not aspire to hold any positions in the public service or conduct political activities in the host countries. All results and developments of the Initiative Group are open and available for free use, in the case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, if necessary, without any references to the source.
Currently, the Initiative Group carries out its activities together with research centers on international law of the largest universities, in particular Oxford, Cambridge and Yale, and has a significant archive of materials, copies of original documents and testimonies involved in the events of 1991, developed specific options for actions to end the participation of the russian federation in the work of the UN contrary to the Charter of this Organization.
The members of the Initiative Group took an active part in the development and promotion of the PACE Resolution from November 2022 in the part of the study of the circumstances of russia entering the UN Security Council, the Statement of the VRU to the governments and parliaments of the World regarding the recognition of the fact of russia’s illegal stay in the UN, the draft Resolution of the US Congress, they constantly publish articles and participate in discussions in national parliaments and research centers in the world, organized round tables, including in Davos, hearings in the Parliament of Canada and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, etc. The “Kick russia out of the UN” petition launched by us has already received almost 335,000 signatories.
The authority of the Initiative Group as independent experts contributes to the assistance in its activities from numerous internationally recognized experts, well-known political and economic figures, respectable organizations, which is supported by numerous confirmations. Previously unknown documents testifying to the biggest geopolitical scam of the end of the 20th century regarding russia’s entry into the UN, the consequences of which are currently being felt all over the World, were put at our disposal.
Thanks to it’s members and involved experts, the Initiative Group has one of the best competences in the world and definitely the only one in Ukraine in terms of legal research on the membership of countries in the UN, consideration of the issues of holding countries and their leaders accountable for starting and waging aggressive wars, creating tribunals, etc. hoc and the use of existing national and international prosecution and reparation mechanisms.
We are convinced that in the event that the illegal participation of the russian federation in the activities of the UN, the UN Security Council and other related organizations is excluded, Ukraine has a unique chance to win an outstanding external geopolitical victory and open the way to punishing those responsible for starting the war. The prerequisites for this have been created, in particular by our Initiative Group, and have a clear and thorough legal basis. Thus all the options for action in the UN developed and proposed by us are based exclusively on the UN Charter and already existing precedents, so, in particular, in the case of China, the restoration of justice required the Decision of the UN General Assembly, which was adopted in 1971 despite the objections of the Permanent Member of the Republic of Belarus United Nations of the United States and only by a simple majority vote. Also, we have developed and already introduced into the scientific discussion a proposal to replace the place of the former USSR in the UN Security Council with Ukraine, which is discussed in the appendix to this document.
Regarding the issue of the UN, Ukraine, as member of our Initiative Group, Professor Thomas Grant, wrote in his own article, shall demand the maximum, that is, the transfer of the seat of a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council to Ukraine. The legal basis of Ukraine’s demands to expel the russian federation from the UN should be based on legally verified wording, agreed with international experts who are familiar with the primary documents and those with internationally recognized expertise, in particular another expert of our Initiative Group, Sir Geoffrey Nice.
In the last days, ways of implementing the action options proposed by our Initiative Group were considered at hearings specially organized by us at the Atlantic Council. We are currently planning similar hearings with expert institutions of the Republican Party in the USA, held discussions with the leadership of the Great Britain Parliament, and held meetings with representatives of the foreign policy departments of European countries, some of the leaders of which were also informed by us about the existence of the problem and real ways to solve it.
For reference, below are brief factual data, the establishment and formulation of which has already been carried out to date.
- The fact of the illegal presence of the russian federation in the UN is undeniable, and can only be recognized and laid as a basis for further actions and decisions based on the following:
- The USSR as a state ceased to exist, but did not change the name and size of the territory (reference to the 1991 Minsk Agreement on the establishment of the CIS);
- No constitutional authority to make the decisions given in the Alma-Ata Papers (transferring the command of the national army to the control of a foreign marshal and the state, providing support to another state in extending the powers of a member of the UN and a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, etc.) of the heads of states and heads of governments of some states – there were no all heirs of the USSR;
- No decisions of any group of countries, most of which at the time of adoption of such decisions were not members of the UN in accordance with the UN Charter, have no binding force for this Organization, in particular, it is not possible to transfer membership in the UN or the UN Security Council by making any which papers are signed by the heads of states and governments of such countries;
- No norms of international law or national legislation contain a definition of the term “support” used in the Alma-Ata papers;
- The Alma-Ata Papers never passed judicial or parliamentary control and never acquired the status of an intergovernmental agreement, since none of the national parliaments gave their consent to their bindingness on the countries mentioned in their texts.
- The appeal to the UN in 1991 (Yeltsin’s letter of 12/24/1991) does not create any legal consequences, since:
- The Letter itself was sent to the UN by the head of a country that never acquired the status of a member of the UN as an organization in accordance with the requirements of the UN Charter;
- From the text of the Letter, it is not known which country Mr. Yeltsin represented when he signed it: the RSFSR, the russian federation (the law on the renaming of which was signed by Yeltsin only on December 25, 1991), or the mythical russia;
- The text of the Letter became known only after the change of the plaque on the desk of the Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, which belonged to the USSR, as it was officially transferred to the UN at the end of December 1991, and the conclusion of the legal adviser of the UN Secretary General is based on the text of a newspaper article about the existence of ghost agreements , achieved in Alma-Ata, as evidenced by the documents at the disposal of the Initiative Group;
- By themselves, the appeals of the countries of the world, regardless of whether they are members of the UN or not at the time of sending such Letters, do not generate any consequences or create obligations for the UN in accordance with the norms of the UN Charter, while the procedural norms of the General Assembly and the Security Council in principle, they do not deny the participation of representatives of countries that are not members of the Organization in the discussion of issues in accordance with individual decisions;
- The letter has never been the subject of research or the content of debates at any of the meetings of the General Assembly or the UN Security Council, so the member states of the Organization have never had the opportunity to support or deny the admission to participate in the work of the Organization for another country;
- In direct violation of the requirements of the UN Charter, the russian federation never addressed the UN Secretariat with a request to consider the issue of its membership in the Organization, this letter was never considered by the Secretary General, the UN Security Council never considered the issue and did not make recommendations to the UN General Assembly regarding membership of the russian federation, and the General Assembly never put the issue of such membership to a vote and did not vote on it, at the same time, the russian federation itself never ratified the UN Charter and did not submit the appropriate instrument of ratification through the UN Secretariat for its preservation in the US State Department, as all this is required by the norms of the UN Charter;
- The term “continuing country” is not mentioned in the UN Charter and is not unequivocally defined by the norms of International Public Law;
- The mention in separate letters addressed to the Secretary General of the UN and the subsequent discussion of the term “continuing country” regarding the perceived inequality of one of the 15 countries that formed or restored their independence on the territory of the former USSR, directly contradicts the signed and ratified national parliament of the russian federation and other countries to agreements on the distribution of assets and liabilities of the USSR, in which all the specified countries are recognized as equal successor countries of the former USSR in full accordance with the norms of international law.
- The options for solving the issue proposed by the Initiative Group, namely: a) “Chinese”, b) “Yugoslav” and c) South African (which is only a temporary solution for depriving the right to vote for a certain time) are characterized by the following:
- All options are based exclusively on the norms of the UN Charter and already existing precedents that occurred earlier in the activities of the UN itself as an international organization;
- Objections to the application of the institution of “estoppel” in relation to the fact of long-term admission of representatives of the russian federation to participate and vote in the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council cannot be recognized as appropriate due to the following:
- The application of the institution of “estoppel” in international law is not widespread, and is mentioned, in particular, in the unsigned and not yet entered into force Vienna Convention on the Application of Law to Agreements between States and International Organizations.” As an argument, it is used exclusively by representatives of the russian federation and foreign consultants who took a direct part in the scam in 1991;
- All decisions made in the period between December 1991 and the moment of termination of the illegal participation of the russian federation in the activities of the UN will not be changed or challenged, as it was shown by the precedent with the replacement of representatives of the Republic of China in the period between 1949 and 1961 and 1961-1971;
- The UN Charter in Article 23 contains an exclusive list of countries that are permanent members of the UN Security Council, among which there are two non-existent countries, therefore, even formally, to obtain the powers of a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, an amendment to the UN Charter is required;
- Remarks regarding the failure of the Government of Ukraine to take appropriate steps can be substantiated by the lack of relevant documents at the disposal of Ukraine, they were first officially requested in the request addressed to the UN Secretary General only in the spring of 2022, and until now a full response to this request has not been received, only after familiarization with all the documents related to the events of russia’s accession to the UN in 1991, Ukraine will have a legally justified legal opportunity to agree to it or deny it.
- The connection between the termination of russia’s participation in the UN and prosecution for the initiation and conduct of an aggressive war is as follows:
- There are the following options for bringing to justice for launching and waging an aggressive war, which directly violates the UN Charter: a) International Criminal Court (in order to consider a case for accusations of aggression, in accordance with the Statute of the International Criminal Court, it requires a recommendation from the UN Security Council, which is currently due to the presence there the russian federation is not possible b) The creation of a tribunal based on the example of the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (which requires the support of the country from which the main potential defendants come, which is currently not possible), c) An ad hoc tribunal (which is currently being promoted by Ukraine and requires UN decisions and provides for the creation of a structure and formation of the charter from scratch) d) Prosecution using national courts in Ukraine. Thus, only a part of the efforts made to create an ad hoc Tribunal will be sufficient to stop the participation of the russian federation in the work of the UN and will open the possibility to use already existing international procedures;
- Abuse by the russian federation of the rights of a Permanent Member of the UNO (statistics show that it used the so-called right of veto to avoid responsibility for itself and its clients among the UN member states more than all other Permanent Member countries combined;
- Restoration of justice will create legal prerequisites for further reform of the UN as an international organization with its own legal personality, different from its member states.
Annex № 2
A potential opportunity that could become a real prospect
For so many years, Ukraine, as a state that was formed on the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR, which became a formal co-founder of the former USSR in 1922, was perceived as a secondary state of Eastern Europe. In many ways, this was facilitated by the position of the russian federation, which tried with all its might to present itself as the sole and completely legal heir of the Soviet Union, which was completely inconsistent with the legal content of the papers signed and later ratified by it, since there are no successor states of the country, of course, no international law and existing interstate agreements are simply not recognized. In part, Ukraine itself contributed to this by its own actions, more often by inaction on the international arena, which, together with economic troubles, turned one of the largest countries of Europe into an object rather than a subject of international relations, a pawn in the geopolitical arena, which, with the approaching victorious end of the war with russia is getting closer and closer to the last enemy field, already trying on the clothes of a socialite.
The first act of occupation was the usurpation of the seat of the USSR in the UN and the chair of the Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, an occupation that provided fundamentally new, albeit illegally obtained, advantages, contributed to the emergence of client countries, which were assisted by the russian federation using the UN instruments provided for Permanent members of the UN Security Council, in particular the so-called “veto right”. The international community currently has sufficient legal tools to turn the unleashed war of aggression against Ukraine, which has become the largest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War, into the last act of this drama. It is necessary to rethink and replay the situation of 1991 in full compliance with the UN Charter and norms of International Law and provisions of Interstate Agreements.
It is known that according to the preamble of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States dated December 8, 1991, the BSSR, Ukrainian SSR and RSFSR as the founding states of the Union of the SSR, which signed the Union Treaty of 1922, stated that the Union of the SSR as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality ceased its existence. Thus, it was not the 77th article of the Constitution of the USSR in the version valid at the time regarding the right of a separate republic to withdraw from the USSR that was used, but rather the adopted decision on the termination of the existence of the state itself as a whole. Later, in the Succession Treaty on External State Debt and Assets of the Union of the SSR of December 4, 1991 and many other agreements on the distribution of assets and liabilities of the former USSR, signed and recognized by the RSFSR (the russian federation, which changed its name from the RSFSR in accordance with the Law of 25 December 1991), all without exception the former republics of the USSR were recognized as equal successor countries (successor states) of the USSR as predecessor states. At the same time, in the text of Mr. Yeltsin’s letter addressed to the Secretary General of the UN on December 24, 1991, it was already a matter of a mythical successor country, which is somewhat more equal than other successor countries of the USSR, while the RSFSR, and later the russian federation, never acquired the status of a UN member state.
In direct violation of the requirements of the UN Charter, the russian federation never addressed the UN Secretariat with a request to consider the issue of its membership in the Organization, this Letter was never considered by the Secretary General, the UN Security Council never considered the issue and did not make recommendations to the UN General Assembly regarding membership of the russian federation, and the General Assembly never put the issue of such membership to a vote and did not vote on it, at the same time, the russian federation itself never ratified the UN Charter and did not submit the appropriate instrument of ratification through the UN Secretariat for its preservation in the US State Department, as all this is required by the norms of the UN Charter. At the time when the Ukrainian SSR (Ukraine) was among the founding countries of this respected international organization and its submission of the instrument of ratification on October 24, 1945, which launched the process of the UN Charter, is still celebrated as UN International Day.
This opens a window of opportunity, based not only and not so much on the right of the winner or the measure of justice, but on an exclusively legal basis that has a good precedent foundation. As you know, the first part of Article 23 of the UN Charter contains an exclusive list of countries that have the status of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, two of which are de facto non-existent – the USSR and the Republic of China, the issue of powers to represent the latter was the subject of consideration and relevant Resolutions of the UN General Assembly ( UN GA Resolution 1668 (1961) “Representation of China in the United Nations” and UN GA Resolution 2758 (1971) “Restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations” , adopted by a simple majority of votes without the support of the United States due to the recognition of the issue as non-important issues in accordance with part 2 of Article 18 of the UN Charter). The question of the fate of the place of the former USSR as a permanent member of the UN Security Council was never discussed or resolved in the UN in accordance with the norms of the Charter, which creates a unique chance for Ukraine. Thus, in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 27 of the UN Charter, the votes of only nine countries are required to make a decision on procedural issues in the UN Security Council. Decisions on all other issues are made subject to concurrence of votes of all permanent members. The question of representation is definitely procedural. It is not about the exclusion of the russian federation from the membership of the UN Security Council or the deprivation of this country’s status as a Permanent Member, since in both cases this country has never acquired the mentioned status. We are only talking about the fate of the representation of the USSR, a country that ceased to exist without any direct and exclusive successors. Therefore, Ukraine, as a bona fide partner, a co-founding country of the United Nations, which has proven its commitment to the norms and principles of the UN Charter and International Law, should declare its readiness to fulfill the obligations and exercise the rights of the former USSR, the country of which it was a co-founder at one time was the only one of the existing ones that did not directly violate the provisions of Article 2 of the UN Charter as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council until the moment when the issue of redistributing the seats of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council will be resolved in accordance with the procedures of the Organization itself, in particular by making changes to the content of the article 23 of the UN Charter.
By Max Baryshnikov, lawyer, co-founder of the BKB Law Firm, volunteer, publicist