Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning “rules-based international order”

Question: The British officials frequently use in their public statements the term “rules-based international order” or “system”. What is your view on such a wording?

Answer: We follow this kind of verbal gymnastics with interest. The terms themselves are meant to create an impression that the UK is a consistent supporter of international law, ostensibly distinguishing London from some other states, who are supposed or declared to be its violators. In fact, this is an attempt to disguise apparent fundamental difference between consensual, agreed by the whole international community, clearly fixed norms of international law and some obscure “rules”, which are so dear to the British officials.

Basically, we are dealing with the so-called “liberal world order”, taken shape after the end of the Cold War, which represents, calling things by their proper names, a total dominance of the West. Sure, it was comfortable to be inside its “core”. But for other states it was neither liberal nor was it an order. It represented a system of unilateral actions, interference in other states’ affairs, blatant pressure on others to the point of aggression against “troublesome” countries. Examples are not hard to find. The impunity with which the West acted has shattered the foundations of the global stability.

The concept of “rules-based international order” must not therefore mislead anyone. These “rules”, established unilaterally to serve the interests of only one group of states, erode the foundations of international law, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.