Panel members (From right)- Dr. Vinay Sharma, Mr. Anudeep Gujjeti, Dr. Vivek Sherawat, Ms. Neha Khurana and Mr. Akhil Kumar
Students, teachers and panelists of School of Law, Mahindra University in the meeting on “Russian Invasion’unanimously demanded Russia to halt the invasion of Ukrain, which is in breach of all the norms of international law. The School of Laworganised a panel discussion on ”Russian Invasion of Ukraine: International Law and Foreign policy in a Changing World Order’, on March 3, 2022in the hybrid (on and offline) mode.
Anudeep Gujjeti and Mr. Akhil Kumar, PhD scholars of University of Hyderabad, faculty members, of Mahindra School Neha Khurana, Dr. Vinay Sharma and Dr. Vivek Sherawat explained the changing international political equatgions, devastating effects of the war on humanity, economics of the world and its impact on India.
Scholar Anudeep explained the history after the fall of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics leading to the changing dynamics in Central Europe with Russia annexing Crimea in 2014. He stressed on looking at the situation from a realist perspective, where Russia’s invasion can be characterised as an act of aggression to preserve the Russian state and its national interests- viz. that of protecting the territory and rights of Russian people who come from the eastern parts of Ukraine. Ukraine has been a flashpoint in Central European security arrangements, since 2014 and the invasion was only a matter of time. The changed equations in the region however portend different implications for each of the international actors, including India, he said. Anudeep underscored the key geo-political implications of the events of the past week, namely the issue of China’s forays in the South China Sea as well as Taiwan and the simmering Israel-Iran conflict.
Researcher, Akhil talked about international relations in the changing global order. The implications of last week eventswill have serious implications on global governance, especially in the areas of security and defence over the next several months. While Russian President, Vladimir Putin expected the invasion to last only a couple of days, the response from Ukrainians will put a temporary stop on his political ambitions for rebuilding the legacy of a united Russian empire. The responses will also be closely watched by China as they weigh their options in their own quest for becoming a superpower in the Asian region as well as globally.
Professors Neha and Vivek Sherawat, pointed out the international law, various treaties and charters violated by Russia. They refered to the various mechanisms within international law which might aid in bringing about reparations for the loss sustained by Ukraine and its people. Through historical instances in the case of the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan by the United States of America as well as many cases of war on the African continent, they highlighted how the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice have repeatedly failed on bringing states to account.
Dr. Vinay spoke on the impact of the war on international financial and commodities markets raising prices of oil, agro-commodities like wheat, sunflower, metals and indirect costs from increased shipping duties and restrictions on Indian exports to Russia. He also argued that while the war continues across different parts of Ukraine, business ties while restricted for the moment, would expand in time with alternate forms of exchange.
The Dean, School of Law, Mahindra University, Prof. M Sridhar Acharyulu, said that while we debate on the various issues that intersect international law and international relations, one must keep in mind the regretful plight of the Ukranians. He stressed that the conscience of the international community must be in solidarity for peace and and bring pressure to stop war. He exhorted students to analyse the situation in an objective manner, avoiding the trap of seeing everything in a binary fashion and to understand the context in which international law and norms are instituted by the more powerful nations like the USA and countries in Europe. If the right is might, it is rule of law and when might becomes right, that exposes ’international law’, he said. All the participants supported the proposed resolution to stop the war.Faculty member, Vivek N.D. organised the panel discussion, which ended with vote of thanks by student M Meghana.
Dean, Prof. M Sridhar Acharyulu, faculty and a student of the School of Law, Mahindra University attending the panel discussion.