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Comparative Analysis of Russian Approaches Towards the UN Role in Conflict Resolution (Cases of North Korea, Ukraine and Syria)

Student: Arina Romanova

Supervisor: Dmitry Novikov

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 7

Year of Graduation: 2020

It is undoubtedly true that the United Nations is perceived as a highly critical international platform for prevention and resolution of international issues in Russian Foreign Policy Concept. Despite its obvious advantages that it has for Russia in terms of projecting its national interests, an ability to shape agenda and regain its great power status, it is also an effective tool to resist the attempts of states to act on a unilateral basis and reconsider the universally accepted principles of international law and sovereignty of states. The position of Russia at the United Nations organization presents it an opportunity to counter the rule-based order notion that is highly criticized by Russia and endorsed by the West. Apart from that, it enables Russia to counter the decisions that contradict its national interests, what is achieved through the use of veto power. Although, the principles of partnership, multilateralism and the role of international law are highly appreciated by Russia, the foreign policy decisions and strategies conducted by Moscow in certain international conflicts indicate that approaches undertaken by Russia are flexible, and determined first and foremost by its national interests. Nevertheless, Russia tries to tie all its actions in the framework of international law, what is frequently disputed and criticized by the international community. These considerations are explicitly evident in the way Russia differently conducted its foreign policy towards such states as North Korea, Ukraine and Syria in the period between 2011-2020, by the nature of the patterns and argumentation used in relation to each of the cases. The overall approach used by Russia making its foreign policy decisions is notably pragmatic and can be best described through the lens of neoclassical realism which can explain the behaviour of the state and include other variables to the analysis such as domestic policy, unique characteristics of the current leader of the state and most importantly how state perceives itself on the international arena. The aim of the research is to identify the conditions and factors that drive certain foreign policies and how Russia explains its motives and actions in the realm of international law. To be more precise, what argumentation Russia presents to legalize its decisions.

Full text (added May 7, 2020)

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