Ukraine, Verni (Online Defense): “Annexation? Invalid vote for the international community, strong nerves”

“The international community, despite recent Russian declarations regarding the legitimacy of the aforementioned referendums, their correct conduct and their compliance with international law, does not want to recognize them any validity. Now more than ever, we must keep our nerve”. This is what the lawyer Marco Valerio Verni, head of the Law Area of ​​’Online Defense’, said to Adnkronos, after the announcement, arrived from Moscow, of the accession to Russia of the Donbass territories in Ukraine where a referendum has just been held branded by Kiev and the international community as a farce.

“Once the annexation of the affected areas (the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and the ‘liberated territories’) to Russia has been formalized, if Ukraine wants to reoccupy them, she could pass, especially from Moscow’s point of view, to the side of the aggressor In short, there would be a potential reversal of positions at least in Russian perceptions – he concludes – Which could also have relevance for external propaganda but, above all, internal, on the one hand, and for morale of the Russian troops themselves, on the other. It is one thing to attack, one thing to be attacked “.

On the subject of the threat of the use of nuclear weapons and on the roads that the international community can take against this risk, Verni observes: “It is essential to try immediately to tackle the ‘simple’ threat, also because, the mere fact of resorting to to it, it is not to be underestimated at all. This is so true that, even in the point of law, there is talk of both a threat and, of course, the use of nuclear weapons, anticipating the danger threshold, evidently, already by simply dreading their use “.

“In the advisory opinion expressed by the International Court of Justice on this point, in 1996, it was established that, in general, the threat, in fact, or the use of nuclear weapons are to be considered in contrast with the rules of international law in the context of an armed conflict, and in particular must be considered in violation of the principles and rules of humanitarian law – he continues – However, it has also been recognized that it is impossible, at least at that moment, to pronounce on an extreme situation, such as that in which one State intends to use the nuclear weapon to defend itself from an attack that threatens its very survival “.

Verni recalls that “when it comes to threatening the use of nuclear weapons, it is always difficult to predict the future. It is necessary to maintain a difficult balance between keeping one’s nerves and resorting, in any case, to deterrent behaviors towards those who have threatened such use. In these hours, Russia and NATO have exchanged important accusations, blaming each other for having threatened – the other first – the use of unconventional weapons “.

“Generally speaking, a nuclear conflict is not convenient for any of the parties that could potentially make use of it, given the catastrophic consequences that for them, but also for the whole world, could derive from it – he continues – Even the use of tactical nuclear weapons, in fact, which theoretically should have a more limited impact than strategic ones, could get out of hand “.

“Without considering that it is not at all obvious that the aforementioned impact can really be limited, since the power of tactical nuclear weapons can reach, today, destructive powers of a certain importance – he concludes – Paradoxically, the possible solution lies in awareness, on the part of the contenders, precisely of the terrible consequences that the use of certain tools could cause “.