Christopher Borgen, Professor and Associate Dean for International Studies, recently weighed in on Russia’s foreign policy in this essay on Opinio Juris . Professor Borgen’s essay addresses a New York Times article that discussed Russia’s controversial policies toward its “near abroad” neighbors, such as Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine. In particular, Professor Borgen considers the complexity and urgency of the strained relations in this region and the important role of international law in solving these conflicts:
[T]hese situations . . . exemplify the importance of law (both domestic and international) in international relations, because high politics in the ”near abroad” is not about the formal acquisition of territory, but the adoption of norms. . . . [T]his is a significant moment in trying to resolve the identity of these systemic borderlands. But does it have to be one normative system or the other? Can Moldova or Armenia be part of both the European and Russian normative orders?