The Opinion by the Legal Advisory Committee to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland on the Annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian Federation in Light of International Law
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In light of international law, the incorporation of the Crimean Peninsula (Crimea), which forms part of Ukraine’s territory, into the Russian Federation qualifies as annexation, i.e. the illegal acquisition of the territory of another state by the threat or use of force. In this respect, Crimea remains an occupied territory under international law. The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation has violated many treaties and fundamental principles of international law, namely the principle of territorial integrity of states, non-intervention into the domestic affairs of another state, and the prohibition of the threat or use of force against another state. Consequently, the Russian Federation has violated Ukraine’s rights which enjoy international protection. Moreover, due to the special legal status of the principles of international law that have been violated, the Russian Federation has breached its commitments under law to the entire international community. This community has an international legal obligation not to recognize the illegal situation created by the illegal use of force in the form of armed aggression, and its consequences.
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