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Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council and former President of Russia, delivered a speech to the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum yesterday in which he made a number of points:

• Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace proposal for Ukraine is time-sensitive and the terms for talks could be worse for Ukraine next time, he said, reported TASS. “So, if circumstances change, the deal can be concluded on different conditions. The circumstances have changed... Under such conditions, negotiations can be continued, but if they do not take place, and this was also explicitly stated, then subsequent negotiations, and sooner or later, of course, these negotiations will be held… they will then take place under worse conditions,” Medvedev continued.

• The confiscation of sovereign assets abroad can be viewed as a legal cause of announcing war, Medvedev said. The theft of sovereign assets can be generally qualified as an aggression under certain conditions,” Medvedev stressed. “And even become casus belli because the right to individual and collective self-defense can arise with the state in response,” he noted.

• “Executing an illegal and invalid decision on arresting the officials of a specific country may serve as a declaration of war,” he said. “In short, failure to recognize the immunity of a country, including immunity of property, immunity of officials, is a most decisive step toward the beginning of war, and in some situations even a world war,” he said. He was commenting on arrest warrants issued earlier this week by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against former Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov. The ICC issued the warrants on June 24, reported AP, saying in a statement that the judges considered there were “reasonable grounds to believe that Shoigu and Gerasimov are responsible for “missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure “ from Oct. 10, 2022, until at least March 9, 2023.”

“Attempts to apply to us the norms of an international treaty, to which we are not a party, are obviously senseless,” he said. “They are part of foreign policy, and an absolutely aggressive one. But the consequences, as I have already said, can be very bad for the entire humanity. Those who generate these decisions should think about this.”

• “International law does not admit of imposing norms against the will and approval of states. Meanwhile, approval of the will of states is the original act that international law norms emerge from and this cannot be done in any other way,” Medvedev stressed. The nature of “the order based on rules” is quite the opposite, he argued. “There is no consensus here, this is pure dissensus to put it in Latin and, therefore, this is coercion. Meanwhile, this self-designated golden billion tries to pretend that the forceful imposition of its patterns of ‘democracy’ is quite legitimate. It also justifies associated losses, use of force actions, bombardments and the killings of people for carrying out NATO ‘peacekeeping operations’ and even genocide,” he stressed.