2014/03/01/Russian forces in Ukraine could be a stabilizing factor

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RT: From the point of view of international law, from the point of view of that perspective, where does Russia's approval for the use of armed force actually stand then? If it does indeed send forces to Ukraine?

Alexander Mercouris: The Russian position is based on an agreement which was made between Mr. Yanukovich and the opposition leaders as they were on the 21st February, in which Russia is named and in which in effect it is a kind of co-guarantor. That agreement was torn up. What then happened over the course of the next couple of days is that Yanukovich was illegally overthrown.

Law is like a web. If you start unraveling part of it, then the whole thing basically falls apart. It's very difficult, it seems for me, for people who want to criticize the Russians for doing what they're doing to start discovering illegality now, when they have so-far completely disregarded it up to now. It depends in terms of international law, a great deal upon what the Russians do.

But the important thing to understand is that there is no legitimate government at the moment in existence in Kiev.

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