Cover Osteuropa 9-11/2019

In Osteuropa 9-11/2019

Limits of the prohibition on annexation
The Golan, Crimea and international law

Johannes Becke, Simon Weiß

Deutsche Fassung


International law prohibits the annexation of the territory of one state by another. However, the list of cases of illegal state expansion is long, and includes Israel’s annexation of the Golan and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. While the occupation of the Golan Heights was a defensive act committed as a result of war, the same does not apply to the annexation of Crimea. The governments in Jerusalem and Moscow are prepared to bear the political, economic and moral costs of international criticism. They have the support of their own population. The international community tries to convince Russia and Israel, to restore the status quo ante. The prospects of success, however, are limited, even though there are historical examples of states withdrawing from territories that they have annexed.

(Osteuropa 9-11/2019, pp. 401–410)