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Dangerous Technology Requires Old-Fashioned Diplomatic Solution

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on November 18, 2014 8:49 AM

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

In these blogs over the years, we have covered many of the fantastic advantages of high technology. Unfortunately, though, tech also can be used for unsavory purposes, to put it mildly. Indeed, with tech, mankind has developed new and different ways to kill other people. As an example, fairly recently a Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying civilians was shot out of the sky, apparently by an advanced missile.

The Ukraine Crisis

Ukranian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenuk recently reiterated his government's commitment to restore law and order. He implored Russia to uphold its international obligations and seek a diplomatic path out of the current crisis that has included the downing of the Malaysian airliner.

Yatsenuk told the U.N. General Assembly that the conflict in Ukraine is not domestic; rather, its origin has been an "invasion" by the Russian Federation. Russia "violated the United Nations Charter," Yatsenuk said, emphasizing that such actions are "absolutely and entirely unacceptable."

He noted that 20 years ago, the Ukraine abandoned its nuclear arsenal -- the third largest in the world at the time. In return, he said that the Ukraine had been guaranteed territorial integrity and sovereignty, and he stated that Russia had signed a memorandum to that effect; yet Russia has since broken that promise.

Yatsenuk told world leaders, "We are committed to our nuclear non-proliferation program but we need guarantees of territorial integrity, security and independence."

Not long ago, Russia "annexed" Crimea, and Yatsenuk lauded those U.N. member states that backed the General Assembly resolution supporting the Ukraine's territorial integrity and condemning Russia's actions.

Today, Russian troops are deployed in eastern Ukraine. And Yatsenuk has asserted that Russia has violated several multilateral and bilateral agreements in the process.

He urged Russia to pull out its forces and to start real talks: "We are the country that needs peace. It's difficult to hammer out any kind of peace deal at the barrel of a gun made in Russia."

The Downing of the Malaysian Airliner

With respect to the Malaysia Airlines jet that he stated had been downed by Russia a few months ago, Yatsenuk has encouraged the international community to assist Ukraine in bringing to justice those responsible for "this despicable crime against humanity."

The military option is not the best option, he said, instead calling for a comprehensive diplomatic and political solution. "Sanctions are the way to start real talks and hammer out a peace deal," he declared, while imploring those states that had imposed such measures not to lift them until Russia fully withdraws from eastern Ukraine, including Crimea.

The Potential Solution

Thus, while technology puts people up in planes, and technology unfortunately shot down the Malaysia Airlines jetliner, Yatsenuk wants to see a non-technology, non-military solution to the problem in the Ukraine.

Hopefully, an old-fashioned diplomatic, political solution can be achieved, as he envisions.

Eric Sinrod (@EricSinrod on Twitter) is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please email him at with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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