Belarusian Journal of International Law and International Relations 2001 — N 1


International Law

International Organizations

Inter-state Integration within the EU Framework: Some Theoretical Issues — Yuri Lepeshkov

Towards the Issue of Multilevel Integration in the European Union Evolution — Tatiana Ushakova

International Humanitarian Law

The Sources of International Humanitarian Law (Central Asia Countries’ Experience) — Murat Khaitov

International Private Law

Rescission of an International Contract of Sale — Andrey Zharsky

International Relations

Towards the 50th Anniversary of the UNHCR Office — Ray Wilkinson

The U.S. Elections: Democracy 'Lesson' Dragging Out — Yuri Parfiyanovich

Belarusian Statehood and Diplomacy in the XXth Century — Vladimir Snapkovsky

Belarus—China: Cooperation in International Organizations — Igor Babak

Developing of the Western Regions of the People’s Republic of China — Vladimir Shorokhov

The Self-determination of the People as the Phenomenon of Politics and Law — Tatiana Yevmenova

A View from Poland on the Problems of Regional Security: Conclusions for the Republic of Belarus — Veronika Kuchinskaya

The Marshall Plan in the U.S. Foreign Policy — Alexander Plashchinsky

International Economic Relations

The Foreign Trade Geography of Belarus — Valentina Yurik


English Summaries

"Inter-state Integration within the EU Framework: Some Theoretical Issues" (Yuri Lepeshkov)

The article is devoted to close examination of various approaches to theorizing about European integration. The study is organized along two perspectives: one focusing on the evolution of the phenomena associated with the European Community itself and of the related theoretical endeavours and the other focusing on a critical evaluation of theorizing on European integration.

The absence of an "integrated" model, representing the relations tying the European integrative system to the national subsystems, on the one hand, and to the global international system, on the other, has constituted a major limitation on theoretical approaches to European integration. Meanwhile, the regional integrating systems play an important role in the functioning of, and in changes in the international system. Therefore, an exact definition of the place of regional systems (in particular, of the European system) in the network of interactions of the international system is yet to be developed.

It is quite evident by now that European integration is a complex human endeavour that has exercised the imagination and critical capacities of scholars in a large number of academic disciplines. The article presents evaluations of some of the most important literature found in the four disciplines that have given the greatest attention to European integration: political science (federalism, functionalism, neo-functionalism, concept of community security), sociology, economics and law. The author demonstrates that there are distinctive features in each discipline’s treatment of the subject matter but there are also numerous linkages across disciplinary borders.

"Towards the Issue of Multilevel Integration in the European Union Evolution" (Tatiana Ushakova)

The article analyses the current trends of European integration process from the point of view of theoretical, legal and practical approaches.

Beginning with the statement that enlargement and deepening of the European Union are considered to be two aspects of the same phenomenon, the necessity of the differentiated integration is proved.

Neither theoretical models, such as "Pick-and-Choose", "Multi-Speed" or "Variable Geometry", nor their codified version could be recognized as satisfactory. The concept of closer cooperation adopted by the Amsterdam Treaty contains serious defects concerning the notion itself and requirements for its application and institutional procedures.

Taking into account the future enlargement of the EU, this concept should be improved towards more flexibility and more efficacy. Also, it is convenient to elaborate guarantees and support mechanisms providing adhesion of the non-participant States to the integrated group.

In the distant strategy, the European Union could adopt identities and boundaries according to the actual concept of the Council of Europe. In consequence, the multilevel organization could be established, making use of the European experience of political cooperation and economic integration models.

"The Sources of International Humanitarian Law (Central Asia Countries’ Experience)" (Murat Khaitov)

The article outlines the concept and classification of the sources of international law in accordance with Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. While drawing a general classification of the sources of international law, the author analyses their content by the example of the rule-making process in international humanitarian law. The article makes case for the possibility to qualify national legislation as a source of international humanitarian law. Here the author refers to the constitutional provisions of a number of Central Asia republics, Turkmenistan among them, which fix the primacy of the accepted norms of international law over national law, the inclusion of the international crimes against peace and security of mankind into the criminal code of Turkmenistan and the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Turkmenistan as a permanently neutral state.

"Rescission of an International Contract of Sale" (Andrey Zharsky)

The concept of rescission as fixed in the Vienna convention is aimed at protection of rights, which differs significantly from the regulation fixed in the civil legislation of the Republic of Belarus as applied to the delivery contract. The civil code of the Republic of Belarus proceeds from the possibility of the contract rescission (unilateral rejection of the goods delivered) even when there are small breaches, e. g. the delay in delivery (Art. 481), underdelivery of the goods (Art. 436), which aims not so much to protect the interests of the aggrieved party as to induce the debtor to perform his obligations properly at the risk of a possible refusal by the contact counteragent to perform the contract, thus leading to significant losses. In contradistinction to this approach, the legal regulation in the Vienna Convention is aimed at retaining the contractual relations while admitting rescission as an exclusive case, which takes into account the interests of the default counteragent. However, the fact that, according to the Convention, the contract rescission entails the obligation to return the items received, provides the aggrieved party with additional opportunities that should be taken into account by the economic subjects of the Republic of Belarus in choosing a certain type of defence. The real cause for the rescission of an international contract of sale is the violation defined not according to the amount of losses but through the loss of interest for the regular party to continue the performance of the contract.

"Towards the 50th Anniversary of the UNHCR Office" (Ray Wilkinson)

The article explores five decades of the UNHCR’s activities to assist refugees. It relates humanitarian tasks which the UNHCR had to face over this period, describes the conflicts, which caused the problems the Office had to cope with, traces people’s personal stories and includes interviews with refugees. The keynote of the article can be summed up in the words of a former High Commissioner Poul Hartling: "We hope the day will come when we shall be able to issue a last press release simply by saying that the last refugee has gone home or been resettled in a new country".

"The U.S. Elections: Democracy 'Lesson' Dragging Out" (Yuri Parfiyanovich)

The article considers a number of topical issues of one of the most scandalous presidential campaigns in the USA — the campaign of 2000. Fundamental positions of the Republican and Democratic parties regarding crucial domestic and foreign policy problems are compared and analysed on the basis of specific programme statements of the presidential candidates George W. Bush and Albert Gore. The author considers the technology of George W. Bush’s victory as a result of the most radical expression of the "average" American’s point of view on the global supremacy of the US.

"Belarusian Statehood and Diplomacy in the XXth Century" (Vladimir Snapkovsky)

The article explores the main stages of the development of Belarusian statehood in the XXth century in close connection with the geopolitical position of Belarus and the foreign policy of the Belarusian People’s Republic, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Republic of Belarus. The author characterizes in brief the international status and the specific features of diplomacy of the above-mentioned states and state formations. The essence and content of the so-called "Belarusian question" is analysed, as well as its role and place in the system of international relations both of the region of Central and Eastern Europe and of the European continent as a whole.

"Belarus—China: Cooperation in International Organizations" (Igor Babak)

Cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the People’s Republic of China in international organizations is an important part of our political relations. The two countries have good traditions of cooperation in this field.

The basis for the close coordination of joint efforts in international arena is connected with similar principles of foreign policy of the two countries. Taking into account the growing role of China in the world politics, cooperation with China in international organizations is of great significance for the Republic of Belarus. In the second half of the 90s the cooperation between our countries became more active and closer, especially on such questions as human rights, "the Taiwan problem", nuclear disarmament, counteraction to interference of some countries in the internal affairs of sovereign states and bloc policy.

Cooperation with China in international organizations creates additional favorable conditions for realization of national interests of Belarus in the international political and economical institutions.

“Developing of the Western Regions of the People’s Republic of China” (Vladimir Shorokhov)

The social and economic transformation in China, underway since the early 1980s, is characterised by well-designed and scientifically grounded reform. The concept of three-stage economic transformation envisions in it third stage (the first half of the XXI century) reaching the average per capita GDP at the level of medium developed countries, completion of most of the modernisation of the country and turning it into a wealthy, democratic and civilized socialist state.

This stage gives priority to a large-scale developing of western regions. The programme of their forced development was summed up, as is usually the case with the Chinese, in a coined slogan: "Go west". The western regions (west China) include 10 administrative units (56 % of the territory and 23 % of the population of the country), which contain 80 % of the idle land resources of China. The existing gap in the development between the east and the west of the country is fraught with forced domestic migration, tensions between the provinces; it encourages economic separatism, impedes the reforms and further modernisation of the country.

The economic situation in China permits to forecast favourable conditions for intensive development of western regions’ infrastructure: transport communications, electrical grids, hydrotechnical structures; and also for strengthening environment protection and attracting foreign investment. 2010 will already see an optimal situation for economic rise, the ability for self-development and innovations, stabilisation in the divergence of the living standards in the eastern and western provinces, elimination of the worst poverty, a certain recovery of economic balance and a growing urbanisation rate.

A special emphasis is made on the expansion of the sphere of foreign investment and preferential  access of foreign capital. At the same time, international cooperation in developing western China is adversely affected by the approach of the Republic’s government to migration policy. The decision adopted in 2000, according to which 60 thousand Chinese farmers are to be resettled in Tibet, raised serious objections in the Western countries. Nevertheless, there are justified expectations that bridging the gap in the development of the regions will permit to stabilise the situation among the indigenous population and will prevent forced migration from the Western provinces. Once progress is achieved, the region will become an important outpost for promoting the interests of China in the cooperation with the countries of Central Asia.

"The Self-determination of the People as the Phenomenon of Politics and Law" (Tatiana Yevmenova)

Self-determination is one of the basic foundations for human activity related to both an individual and his communities of different kinds; it creates circumstances and relations and history as a whole.

At the same time the right to self-determination, like other human rights to life, development and culture is a fundamental human and civil right, the right of communities and humanity as a whole.

The article considers a particular phenomenon of self determination — the self-determination of the people — in a system of domestic ethnic and international politics, national and international law, i. e. the self-determination of the people as a political and legal phenomenon. The following idea is stated and developed: the realization process of the self-determination of the people is inevitably related to a democratic national order of social life, whereas distorted forms of the people’s self-determination, and moreover, obvious suppression of the people’s right to self-determination, are related to various forms of political dictatorship.

The article gives an expanded analysis of the structure and contents of the self-determination of people concept and phenomenon as a complex system of definition, establishment and ensuring of the political, economical, social and cultural status of the people striving for independence and national sovereignty; of the definition, establishing and ensuring its status as the owner of both natural and social resources of the country. The article also analyses the problem of the principle of people’s self-determination and its limitations as both the phenomenon and the right in contemporary international law and politics.

"A View from Poland on the Problems of Regional Security: Conclusions for the Republic of Belarus" (Veronika Kuchinskaya)

The Cold War over, the regional security problems are becoming very acute. The international system has undergone considerable changes towards its decentralization. This fact was reflected in the so-called "security dilemma", meaning the interaction between security policy steps made by one country and the way other countries perceive such steps.

But the development of contemporary international relations in characterized by growing interdependence of actors in international communication. Any particular country cannot cope on its own with the threats which are now of economic, political, social and ecological dimensions. That is why its national security is a function of international relations as a whole.

A regional actor can hardly function properly, develop or even exist without regional cooperation. This cooperation could become the ground for overcoming the "security dilemma" because it provides not only a balance of interests but also a balance of values of different participants.

Due to historical and psychological reasons Poland is longing for its security to be guaranteed by NATO and the EU. Transferring a part of its national competence to these institutions Poland makes itself a conductor of interests of stronger allies. Restrictions imposed by Brussels on Poland’s entering the EU confirm that fact.

In case "the Belgian curtain" drops, the Belarusian-Polish border will become not only an interstate division line, but also a line which divides two civilizational areas with different interests and values. This may become the cause of regional instability, which certainly does not lie in Poland’s national interests.

Eastern Europe is facing the need for the security mechanism to be strengthened. Being an indicator of stability in the region, Belarus will play an essential role in the process of emergence of security environment in Europe. It is essential for Belarus to play a more active part in regional cooperation, so that it might realize and pursue its national interests.

"The Marshall Plan in the U.S. Foreign Policy" (Alexander Plashchinsky)

The article analyses some aspects of the realization of the European Recovery Programme (ERP) after World War II, which represents a certain period of the U.S. foreign policy and a kind of "monument of the Cold War epoch".

The processes of globalization and the increasing influence of economic factors on the modern system of international relations prove the topicality of the issue and of the article itself. The author considers that economic diplomacy will be an integral part of the world policy in the foreseeable future, therefore it is very important to study its origins in order to comprehend fully the above-mentioned trends. Moreover, the Marshall Plan is a clear example of economic diplomacy and its mechanism is being successfully implemented in other economic aid programmes at present.

The article also deals with the role and influence of economic factors on the U.S. foreign policy strategy, particularly, on the problem of using the economic levers for the implementing of this strategy. The motives of the U.S. expansion after the end of World War II are also examined. The author focuses on the aims of the Marshall Plan and the major reasons which brought this action into being.

The situation on the world arena and the balance of powers in the early post-war years are touched upon with the purpose of explaining the objective factors which created the “crucial moment throughout history for American leadership”.

The close connection between the Truman doctrine and the Marshall Plan are revealed and it is pointed out that these actions laid a basis for the U.S. foreign strategy in the early post-war years and determined its character, being "the two sides of the coin of the American open-door policy". It is emphasized that the Marshall Plan was a successful strategic step of the United States and the possibility of its implementation was correctly and in due time evaluated by American foreign policy-makers.

The author comes to the conclusion, that after World War II the necessary pre-conditions were created for realizing by the United States the "Pax-Americana" concept, taking into consideration the decline of traditional powers (such as Britain, France, Germany in Western Europe and the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe) and the fact that the U.S. itself became the leading power on the world arena by the end of the war. In this respect, the Marshall Plan became a landmark in the realization of this concept as well as the embodiment of the policy of Truman administration. It is noticed that ERP is the integral part of the U.S. strategy for the world leadership.

The article sheds light on the connection between the Marshall Plan — "the containment of the communism on the economic level", and the creation of NATO — aimed to resolve this problem on the military and political one. It shaped the major political and military events of the late 40-s and early 50-s.

The consequences and influence of the Marshall Plan on the following development of international relations and the reasons it is considered to be "the defining moment of the Cold War" are also examined in this article.

"The Foreign Trade Geography of Belarus" (Valentina Yurik)

The article presents for the first time the data of foreign trade statistics according to continents and countries for 1997—2000. The article tables the main foreign trade partners according to countries and the main peculiarities of their geographical structure. The author draws the conclusion about the necessity of rational use of hard currency from the export for the restructuring of production and raising the competitiveness of Belarusian produce.

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