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The Protection Of Nationals Abroad: Russia's Use Of Force In Georgia

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Chapter Summary

Russia's use of force in Georgia in 2008 has dramatically revived the old debate about the legality of the use of force to protect nationals abroad. This issue had declined in importance since the Us invasion of Panama in 1989, the last significant invocation of the right to use force in protection of nationals abroad. The Security Council debates on Panama in 1989 provide little more express consideration of the right to protect nationals. The conflict began in South Ossetia, an Autonomous Region of Georgia, with a population of around 70,000-100,000. In the final debate on the conflict Russia started by making deeply sarcastic reference to what it saw as the hypocrisy of the USA: the USA now called on states to refrain from the use of force, but had itself used force unlawfully in Iraq; the USA now invoked territorial integrity, but had itself intervened unlawfully in Kosovo.

Keywords: Georgia; Russia



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