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Ambassador Bolewski Calls for Minilateralism to De-Escalate Ukrainian Crisis

PARIS, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ambassador Wilfried Bolewski, former Chief of Protocol to German Chancellors Merkel and Schroder and a specialist of international law, declared: "There can be no solution to the Ukrainian crisis against Russia, but only with Russia" during a talk on "Ukraine and International Law", which took place at the American Graduate School in Paris (http://www.ags.edu) on March 5th, 2014.

Providing a thorough legal, political, and diplomatic background to the Ukrainian crisis, Bolewski framed the current situation as part of a wider Russian identity crisis, linking it to similar events in Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968) and Georgia (2008).

Bolewski highlighted several obstacles to the resolution of the current standoff. Not least of these, he argued, are Russia's selective application of the principles of international law and its unilateral reinterpretation of these principles. According to this 'Russian exceptionalism', only limited sovereignty is granted to the countries that are under Russia's self-proclaimed sphere of influence, and the new norm of Responsibility to Protect is extended to virtually any military intervention in favor of Russian nationals as well as ethnic Russians abroad. Bolewski believes the International Community should clearly reject, in the global public square, President Vladimir Putin's virtual and ideological stances as unilateral misinterpretations of international law.

To break out of the gridlock over Ukraine at the UN Security Council, and de-escalate its ad hoc diplomacy from confrontational to relational, Bolewski calls for 'minilateralism', searching for mutual interests among the countries most affected and ensuring Russia is brought to the table and not sanctioned into defiance. He recommends opening a 'multilogue' within a newly created Contact Group as suggested by Chancellor Merkel. He believes that Germany could have an important role in resolving the crisis, suggesting the Merkel government is in a unique position to bring together a coalition of the influential and promote dialogue between the parties. Bolewski adds: "Former Chancellor Schroder could be mandated to preside over this form of 'minilateralism' and quiet diplomacy comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the US, Germany, the UK, Poland, France, the EU and the IMF in order to discuss the future of Ukraine."

A lawyer by training and career diplomat, Wilfried Bolewski is former German Ambassador to Belize, Jamaica and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, now teaching International Law and Diplomacy at The American Graduate School in Paris as well as Sciences Po, France and the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Bolewski is the author of Diplomacy and International Law in Globalized Relations (Springer : Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 2007).

See profile : http://www.ags.edu/international-relations/about-agsird/agsird-faculty/ambassador-wilfried-bolewski

Watch video interview : http://bit.ly/1q7KKhq

The American Graduate School in Paris (AGS) is a nonprofit institution of higher education located in France and offering US-accredited programs delivered in English to students from around the world. The school specializes in international relations, diplomacy and international affairs as well as business and economics.

For more information: Corentine Chaillet - [email protected] - +33(0)1-47-20-00-94

SOURCE American Graduate School in Paris

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