Prof. Borys Babin.

It’s worth to mention that the territorial reintegration issue has arisen before a number of modern states. The ways of its possible solution were variable. The study of those processes is extremely crucial for the reintegration of Crimea. In particular, it is worth to indicate the legislative constituent in the reintegration of Eastern Germany into the Federal Republic of Germany, as a process that lasted from 1949 to the end of the 20th century, also as the legislative practice of Croatia since 1992 as well.   

A number of states whose territories were occupied, developed the legislation on the negotiation process, of a status of such territories, and of displaced persons. In particular, that is the way, Serbia regulates the issues for Kosovo, Georgia for Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, Moldova for Transnistria Region, Azerbaijan for the Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions. At the same time, the effectiveness of such legislation is a disputable issue, and its development is often stipulated with the current political needs of the parties of the international conflicts. 

For instance, at present, in Moldova, there is only one declarative law No. 173-XVI ‘On The Main Provisions of the Special Legal Status of the Population Centres of the Dnister’s Left Bank’ (Transnistria), adopted on July 22, 2005. Moldova has no special legislation on the occupied territories and even on the displaced persons, which are over 100000, regarding to the international organizations` calculations.  

In Azerbaijan, there is also no special law on the occupied territories also. And only the Law No. 279-XII ‘On Abolishing the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of the Azerbaijan Republic’, adopted on November 26, 1991, in the beginning of the conflict, is still in force.  Regarding the internally displaced persons (IDP), the Law No. 668-IQ and No. 669-IQ ‘On the Status of the Refugees and Forced Migrants Moved within the Country’ and ‘On the Social Protection of the Internally Displaced Persons and Those Who Were Like Them’ were approved in Azerbaijan on May 21, 1999. Those laws do not completely reflect the international IDP standards and cannot serve as the example for development the specified amendments into the Ukrainian legislation in that field.     

At the same time, in Georgia, the Law No. 431-IIс ‘On Occupied Territories’ on November 23, 2008 and the Law No. 1982-IIს ‘On the People Who Were Constrainedly Displaced From the Occupied Territories of Georgia, i.e. the Forced Migrants’, on February 6, 2014 were approved. The latter amended the prior 1996-law.   

The law No. 431-IIс, adopted in 2008, resembles the similar Ukrainian acts on the temporarily occupied territories but it is comparatively small. There are some legal mechanisms in that act, which are worthy for special attention in Ukraine. They are the provisions of its Art. 6 on some restrictions of the business activities in the occupied territories, with the certain measures. Law No. 1982-IIს, adopted in 2014, is a regulation that is quite smaller than the Ukrainian similar Law ‘On the Internally Displaced Persons’. Though, it contains some worthy rules as to IDP record-keeping outside Georgia (art. 9) so for the protection of the IDPs’ property on the occupied territories (art. 15).

Thus, the legislative experience of other states on the conflict issues and post-conflict settlement is restricted. The relative practice of the post-Soviet states is almost inapplicable for using it in native lawmaking. At the same time, that experience indicates that the international legal mechanisms on the issues of the conflict and post-conflict settlement must prevail over the national legal tools. 

The issue of the interstate conflict in Ukraine become a subject of the investigation of the certain scientists, first of all, the international law professors of the civilized nations. In particular, it is worth to mention the English monographic works ‘Aggression Against Ukraine: Territory, Responsibility and  International Law’ by Tomas D. Grant (Great Britain) (2015), ‘Roots of  Russia`s War in Ukraine’ by Elizabeth Wood & William Pomeranz (USA) (2015), ‘The Crimea in 2014: Current Issues in the Light of International Law’ by Paul Unglaub (Germany) (2016), ‘Self-Determination and Humanitarian Secession in International Law of a Globalized World: Kosovo v. Crimea’ by Juan F.E. Espinosa (Spain) (2017), ‘The Use of Force against Ukraine and International Law: Jus Ad Bellum, Jus In Bello, Jus Post Bellum’ by Serhey Sayapin (Uzbekistan) and Evhen Tsybulenko (Estonia) (2018), ‘The Case of Crimea’s Annexation Under International Law’ by Karolina Wierczynska, Wladyslaw Czaplinski (Poland) (2017-2019), and ‘International Law: The Rise of Russia as a Global Threat’ by Ben W. Johnson (USA) (2020).

It is also worth to mention the relevant articles of the foreign scientists, specializing on issues of Russian aggression. We should mention such publications as the ‘The Crimea Crisis. An International Law Perspective’ by Christian Marxsen (Germany, 2014), ‘Classification of the Conflict between Ukraine and Russia in International Law (Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello)’ by Patricia Grzebik (Poland), ‘Ukraine, Crimea and New International Law: Balancing International Law with Arguments Drawn from History’ by Peter Hilpold (Austria, 2015), ‘Crimea and the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict’ by Anton Bebler (Romania, 2015), ‘Crimea’s Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law’ by Simone F. van den Driest (Netherlands, 2015), ‘Ukraine’s Derogation From the European Convention on Human Rights’ by Benedict Harzl (Austria, 2017), ‘Legal Classification of the Armed Conflict in Ukraine in Light of International Humanitarian Law’ by Agnieszka Szpak (Poland, 2017), and ‘Russian-Occupied Crimea and the State of Exception: Repression, Persecution, and Human Rights Violations’ by Austin Charron (USA, 2019).  Moreover, the extremely important English-done publications on the Crimean issues were written and edited in Europe by some Ukrainian scientists, professors Oleksander Zadorozhnyi, Oleksander Merezhko, Borys Babin, and Olena Hrinenko.

The above mentioned scientific-research works practically do not contain the suggestions for  a modernization of Ukrainian national legislation. At the same time, in Ukraine, hundreds of professional publications have been dedicated to the aspects of the legal opinion on the interstate conflict since 2014. Alas they were issued on Ukrainian without translation to the global languages and without publishing in the authorized scientific-research editions or by publishing houses of the developed countries. The reasonable researches of the reoccupation and reintegration issues regarding the temporarily occupied territories were supervised in works of the academician Oleksander Kopylenko. Those and other researches were done by the experts of the Institute of the Legislation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

In the same time, Russia uses actively the English-published publications written by their own scientists. Those publications are dedicated to the various branches of the jurisprudence in the editions of the civilized world countries. Russia takes the advantages of such publications, trying to justify their occupation of Crimea and prove the alleged noninvolvement of the Russian Federation into the military actions in the East of Ukraine as well as to justify the Russian aggression as a whole.