Oh no worries Nader, I'm pretty sure there's going to be similar lines of NATO trucks waiting right on the other side of the border, with or without Crimea remaining part of Russia's strategic sectors. And ABM systems. And long range X-band radars to hamper Russia's strategic deterrent more effectively. And possiblu a couple of USAFE airbases with squadrons of F-16s and B-52s just in case. After all, didn't the interim (and for now, non-elected) government officially declare integrating its country fully into the Alliance, thus directly countering some of the pillars that initially made Russia's cession of Crimea to Ukraine as a semi-autonomous region back in 54 a possibility? Or the West's plea of not extending NATO to Russia's border as a gesture of good faith towards Gorbachev helping with the USSR's dissolution even in its administrative and military dimension ? I see no strategic detente on the part of the US or Western Europe since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and moving Ukraine into NATO would make this tendency even more clear in contemporary times. They had to expect some reaction on the part of Putin, or any other Russian leader that would have been in his position, with 60% ethnic Russians freshly ripped of the official status of their very language.Now does it justify moving nameless and ensign-less troops through the border by the tens of thousands and calling them "self-defense groups" even before a referendum can take place on the region's future ? Certainly not ! Now, is it understandable and an expected development that tens of thousands of people in the eastern part of Ukraine are now occupying local institutional buildings and not recognizing the self-appointed oligarch billionaire members of the interim government nobody never voted for in the first place, and asking for Russian help for their protection in conformity with the 1954 treaty in a situation where they received open threats and aggression from an active fringe of Neo-Nazi Bandera followers on which both the EU and the interim gov't turn a blind eye despite their documented, unacceptable abuses ? Hate it or like, definitely yes as well.Is it outrageous that, following a leaked and confirmed conversation between Eu's Catherine Ashton and the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stating that it is very likely the Maidan protesters and policemen were both killed during the unrest by the same sniper rifles that were found on the scene and then hastily and without explanation taken away by unidentified people, every call for further investigations from every side including the EU itself fell on the interim's government deaf ears ? Yes as well.Indeed a very complex situation (or simply put : a total mess) with notorious abuses and opportunism on both sides for regional domination encompassing Ukraine, and the country being more and more cut into two, with ethnic Russians living in industrialized parts of the country on the one side unconditionally supporting Putin, and impoverished Russian-hating western Ukrainians willing to break off their traditionally unfair relationship with Moscow. Absolutely not one in which to portray good guys facing bad guys anyway as the name of the game !
Crimean people have spoken, they will vote on the reversing of the decision by Brezhnev to give away Crimea to the Ukraine! It will be a glorious day when the Russian people and Russian Citizens of Crimea rejoin the motherland, as it shoul be!
Why Crimean people waited until the opposition come to power in Kiev to speak in favor of returning to Mother Russia? Couldn’t they do it under the government that was in power in Kiev until last month? Isn’t it a dangerous precedent to secede if you don’t like the government of the day?
No worries for portrayal of “good guys facing bad guys,” we all know better than that. The worry is dismemberment of a country with no regard to established norms. Scotland also might secede from Britain, through negotiations, and not with the help of those rows of trucks carrying troops disguised as street tugs! Even at the height of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the push always was to maintain the territorial integrity of the countries. Russia of all countries was the one who pushed for territorial integrity of countries and sovereignty of governments. It seems they uphold that principle only up to a point: depending on the government in power in that country! The irony is that they could have facilitated the negotiations for separation under the former government in Kiev. Russia is actually putting itself in a precarious position, favoring dismemberment of a country if a part of it wants independence when opposition comes to power.
I do not know Anon 2:28's stance on the issue, but i'd answer : Because they used to live with a sentiment of full security with limited links to the Russian administration. Brezhnev conceded Crimea in a geopolitical context where it was unimaginable to anyone that the USSR ends in breakup. Ethnic Russians didn't "wait" for anything other than open threats and attacks from Neo-Nazis submitting everything and anything Russian to torture, death threats, kidnapping and humiliation wherever and whenever their hand could extend, going as far as performing physical and verbal aggression on official state employees including a prosecutor at their workplace, coming to Parliament chambers with knife and AK-47 in hand and chanting its pride about it, and so on (all documented actions, you want video proof from various media outlets, both pro and anti-Russia, just ask). Thus imho, it is a natural reaction for Russian Crimeans (more than 60% of the region's population) to consequently welcome Russian involvement along the lines of the 1954 Treaty that legally allows the Russian central authority to station a limited contingent of forces to protect Russian citizens when there is reasonable ground to believe their security is at stake, pretty much like it is the case nowadays with people pouring in from Kiev trying to destroy all the remaining symbols of Russian history in the region like Lenin statues and WWII-related monuments, all deeds that are willingly ignored by the interim government. If the latter was up to its responsibility and wasn't acting in such a blatantly lax attitude when it comes to condemn extremist actions from a significant fringe of the coalition in power, Putin wouldn't have rallied so much local support for unilateral intervention.Before that unrest arose in Ukraine a couple of weeks ago, these Russian-speaking populations were ok with their status and language recognized as official until the self-appointed gov't of Ukraine wiped it off as one of their very first amendment to existing official law. The 1954 Treaty has been stomped upon in many critical regards by the newly appointed government that put under question the regions' status in regards to Russia, they certainly shouldn't have rushed forward their pro-EU, anti-Russia stance while totally disregarding that fundamental aspect of Crimea's longstanding and historically agreed upon links to Moscow through its very special relationship and status to the Russian mainland. Putin couldn't have hoped for a better occasion to grasp it for free ! And it does not make me happy one bit, as it is just another case of imperialism disguised as humanitarian intervention (though it remains far less deadly than its American counterpart, as we do not see the Russian air force performing carpet bombings on Crimea's infrastructure so far)And on a side note : who are the USA to lecture anyone on the legitimate use of force in extraordinary circumstances anyway, Mr. Kerry telling verbatim to Mr. Lavrov that "you don't invade a country based on phony pretext" is just (painfully) funny. Does anyone remember something called the "War On Terror" and the hunt for non-existing threat of Iraqi WMDs pointed at western cities? or the infamous drone wars that have killed thousands of innocent civilians outside of any international legislation or regulation overseas ? Also I'd love to see Washington's reaction would Guantanamo declare independence and drive to Russia's Customs Union and BRICS at the same time overnight. I don't recall them tolerating the Cuban island's decision to switch allegiance to the East to this day either. (i.e. crippling embargo going on for decades even though the EU and the rest of Latin America not abiding by it anymore for a long time).
And for everybody's information : Under the Russian-Ukrainian Partition Treaty determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea – signed in 1997 and prolonged in 2010 - Russia is allowed to have up to 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems (with a caliber smaller than 100 mm), 132 armored vehicles, and 22 military planes, on the peninsula’s territory. A non-elected interim government does not have authority to scrap it altogether without consultations and expect the Russian party to remain idle and let the accord by violated in a fundamental way. Even Fidel Castro didn't renege on upholding existing accord for Guantanamo Bay, technically a slice of American jurisdiction on Cuban soil, furthermore turned into a open-air prison, Human Rights no-go zone as we all now in the meantime.
"Even at the height of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the push always was to maintain the territorial integrity of the countries. " ==> 10 years of occupation and struggle to remain indefinitely on the Iraqi mainland, propping up of an autonomous Kurdistan fueling tensions with the central Iraqi government and constant military buildups on both sides, an embassy the size of Vatican, documented theft of Iraqi oil during the Bush-era occupation period, BUT thank god they pushed for territorial integrity ? I don't even see the relation, how can one find anything selfless and good in the whole illegal and destructive campaign they pushed in the face of the whole international community and the UN charter ? Do you see Russia doing the aforementioned abuses the scale the world witnessed during the "push for Iraqi integrity" by the Bush gov't ?I agreed from the start and continue to converge on your judgment towards Russia self-inflicting a precarious position on the issue : that is where Russian imperialism express itself to its full-extent, no doubt on that , there we're on the very same page Nader ! for the legal status of Crimea, Russia's options "on paper", and the US legitimacy in decently pointing out Putin's abuses, I stand by my words and references though.
all of you should investigate a little bit more in detail. according to the actual contracts regarding the russian black sea fleet, russia is allowed to have 25.000 soldiers on Crimea, which is much more than actually was announced by the Nazi-government in Kiev, that claimed 16.000 russian personnel on Crimea. So what...
At the height of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the goal was to push for several massive, permanent bases in foreign countries to strengthen America's strategic umbrella in the Far East and the Middle East, fearing they could lose Pakistan ultimately as a reliable ally and with the possibility of holding stable bases there. There is no respect for sovereignty or state integrity which are de-facto invalidated in such process. Even assuming they actually cared about keeping these states whole, it would be to better keep their hold on a monolithic vassal rather the multiple sub states difficult to administer, they fool no one in this both in the eyes of local governments, and the international stage. And anyway where was their similar concern when it came to bombing Serbia and breaking it to pieces, helping autonomy-seeking regions in reaching their goal through the means of arms ?
removal of elected government (no matter if corrupt or not) is legal - and then, after an unconfirmed Nazi-intereim-government is in place, the secession of Crimea by vote is illegal? wake up...
good luck Russia prevent nato spreading in to UKR every thing is good für russia, is good for iran too
The world order of today is based on the law of survival of the fittest. The US invaded Iraq based on false pretext and those responsible are still working the earth free, from all available evidence like the recorded conversation of Victoria Nuland, who can deny that the US/EU as not hijack the legitimate grievances of the protesters in Kiev. Now the country is being led by an unelected government whose first act was to repel the law that made Russian language official in Ukraine. And we say Russia have no right to be in Crimea invited by the elected regional government, a region made up of majority ethnic Russians in a nation of strategic interest to Russia. Let's face it if I recall it was Putin that saved the world from another catastrophic war last year in Syria, a war that would have been based on inconclusive evidence. Putin is not a saint,far from it but this is clearly an attempt by the US to put NATO on the border of Russia to limit Russia's sphere of influence in prelude to pivot to Asia. Our clamour should be own how to avoid another major war in the world not trying to white wash something so obvious. In fact such manipulations only strengthen the hardliners in Iran, that in spite of Russia haven cooperated with the west on imposition of sanctions on Iran they still view Russia as an enemy. Imperialism and hegemony serves no one but the corrupt few and wreck destruction on the majority.
Be careful what you guys are wishing for: regions seceding from central governments if they don't like its politics. This line of thought could create serious issues in many countries, including Iran.
You make a very good point Nader, but can we really compare the historical and very specific, if not unique relationship that Crimea has vis a vis Russia to any of the administered provinces of Iran characterized with a separatist element ? some semi-autonomous province gracefully ceded to a third-party country bordering Iran in which Farsi suddenly stops to be recognized as an official language and anti-Iran racist extremists openly threaten to kick out and/or kill Iranians off the surface of their piece of land, and in doing so trigger critical parts of an initially agreed cession treaty and allow some space for the Iranian military to intervene in a so-called "limited" way ? Please note that here I'm sincerely asking questions without any kind of irony : is there a region bordering Iran with a comparable relationship to the Iranian central government that was ceded to a neighbor, and bound to a Farsi-speaking, ethnic Persian majority ? I am trying to find equivalent situations that could occur during an unfortunate event of local uprisings in case populations for example can't bear the IRI central gov't anymore or take advantage of a given potential instability weakening the overall national fabric of the Iranian Nation-state.Thanks,-A
Nader UskowiMarch 10, 2014 at 2:50 PMThe big difference here is that the one in ukraine is a non elected interim government that does not enjoy majority support,indeed it reminds one in many ways of the infamous "colour revolutions" that were attempted in several countries including iran,tho` in the case of iran it had little success,of course that doesnt mean that iran should be blind to the danger of foreign backed separatist terror groups either
Acknowledged, I understand and partially share your concern. I simply thought the situation was of a quite unique nature in the case of Russia considering the region in question was originally part of Russian (and not Soviet) territory and was ceded via a written, internationally recognized treaty containing guarantees for the ceding side which in our case was Russia. Now the interim government rushed several important decisions bound to a strategic dimension and raised suspicion of a total violation of the Treaty in the short term on the Russian side, and wasn't open to discussions before tens of thousands of troops entered the semi-autonomous region in conformity to the Treaties relevant sections quoted above. Considering a wider, more complex picture, with NATO waiting for a crack to establish itself in place of Russia by taking opportunity of a highly pro-west leader that happens to be struggling even to spread its authority and legitimacy to eastern and southern regions of the country (newly appointed oligarchs were forced to withdraw or were expelled from several regions shortly after their arrival to official buildings, and in their cases there was no direct Russian involvement, but rather the work of ethnic Russians fearing for their status and condition).So while we can indeed extend the situation "in principle" to similar ones potentially taking place in Iran in troubled times ahead, I'd say apart from the hugely abusive and opportunistic posture that Putin seems to be taking to simply get over Crimea outside of any regulations and norms as you rightfully describe and condemn, we seem to be geared towards an ultimate peaceful resolution, and the referendum can still happen through the proper channels, despite saber rattling and military presence not a single bullet was fired upon Crimean forces. We "just" have to wait for diplomacy to prevail again, which seems to be the case : Putin is showing signals of softening considering growing international pressure and threats of sanctions, and so namely on Merkel's proposal at creating a contact group which would preserve the interests of all parties engaged, the best idea put forward ever by a leader in my opinion.Of course, I could be entirely wrong but I doubt any party involved is interested in full-blown war in a region directly bordering Russia, even Putin himself and all his Iron Fist power-play. -A
-A, No two situations are the same. The point here is the principle. Can a region secede without established norms, like what's happening in Scotland? If we accept Russian argument, then that principle can be applied to a number of regions, including Iran's.Anon 12;24 AM, The Kiev's new government came to power in a popular uprising against a corrupt dictator. A lot of people might not like its politics, but that's how it came to power, after the dictator fled the country. Does it look familiar to those of us who have seen a non-elected government took over the power in Tehran after mass protests and when a corrupt dictator fled the country? It's called revolution. I am sure there were many Iranians who didn't like the politics of the new government in Tehran either. Should they have seceded from Iran?
Breaking News from Russia Today : The parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has adopted an independence declaration from Ukraine which is necessary for holding a March 16 referendum.“We, the members of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council, with regard to the charter of the United Nations and a whole range of other international documents and taking into consideration the confirmation of the status of Kosovo by the United Nations International Court of Justice on July, 22, 2010, which says that unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the country doesn’t violate any international norms, make this decision,” says the text of the declaration, which was published by the Crimean media.It seems they indeed used a known precedent to go forward with their plans. I guess this is up to debate but things seem set into motion no matter what now...
Nader UskowiMarch 11, 2014 at 7:06 AMThe big difference is that yanukovich was democratically elected,he may possibly have been corrupt but he was no dictator unlike pahlavi
Yanukovich was no democrat, he fled the country, and a group supported by popular uprising took control of the government (sounds familiar to those who witnessed the Iranian revolution). However, even if this transfer of power was illegal, it does not give license to Crimean government to secede from Ukraine without going through accepted norms, which would require acceptance of its independence by Ukraine (like Scotland/Britain example). A dangerous development that will come back to haunt the country, Russia and the region.
No matter how illegitimate both the Crimean government and the interim one in Kiev might respectively be at the moment, one has to admit the inability (or plain unwillingness) of the latter to address any pressing issues related to the security of Russian speaking and/or many ethnic Russian living both in the semi-autonomous region and Eastern Ukraine itself, and the utter absence of even mere vocal condemnation of the many certified acts of violence and open threats perpetrated by the immense majority of Neo-Nazis composing the Svoboda party, which is currently holding several critical positions within the new political spectrum of the central government, making no secret of their murderous goals towards Russian citizens or even Ukrainians of Russian ethnicity being systematically labelled as the "inferior race" and "traitors", in apparent allegiance to their long gone SS idol Banderra's ideology, of which they have been unable to swallow the historical defeat against the Red Army during WWII. So long as they keep on this dangerous and erroneous, unintelligent path, Russian Crimeans and the government will have a valid case in regards to the 1954 Treaty's clauses linked to the protection of Russian populations on the ground, allowing any Russian government to ask for a limited military deployment on site. If they're unhappy with it they shouldn't have signed it to begin with or scrap it altogether, invalidating their own legal claim on Crimea in the process. Re-ratification goes back to 1997, furthermore during West's beloved angel Yeltsin stay in power, long before evil pro-Russian Yanukovich came to power to extend it.Just imagine 50% of Revolutionary Iranians suddenly attacking , harassing, sometimes killing and officially threatening a whole of some province's population with ethnic cleansing right after they overthrew the Shah in 1979 ? or whole piece of Iran and its population repeatedly expelling newly appointed government official in large swathes of the country, calling for their own elections and representatives instead ? since none of these actually happened as radically as it is happening in Ukraine at the moment, we cannot make direct comparisons or draw such parallels between one another.
Lots of blurring from this set of 'discussion', and "-A"'s ditribes.The Russia has been arguing that it is up to the majority of people in Crimea, to decide their fate if they feel endangered by trained fascists, (who symphatize with those who cooperated with Hitler for their "statehood", and had killed children in addition to 'communists'.)In addition, Russia points to the Kosovo's case, where the West forcefully seperated that teritory from Serbia, under the pretexts of a majority's will and its prosecution by the Serbian authorities.It would be a matter of time, where those who attacked police in Kiev with 'molotov coctails' and weponry, would come and terrorize other in Crimea............They had no problems that Albania hosted and transfered Kosovo rebels as well as to provided weapons to the Kosovo teritory.......
What's with the repeated mention of my so-called "diatribes" every time you stumble on my participation on this blog, anon 10:26 ? adding to the oddity of such practice, is the fact that I often happen to be expressing the very same key arguments that you use yourself to push your case on the issue forward, this discussion included, namely on the Kosovo parallel. Thus, Is there a problem I should know about here ?-A
More than Kosovo, you guys need to study the more recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In both cases, although U.S. and NATO forces had occupied both countries, they pushed hard to keep the territorial integrity of both intact. Even when there was so much pressure in both countries to disintegrate: Afghanistan along the Pashtun/non-Pashtun fault line, and Iraq into three separate entities. I believe what the West did respecting the territorial integrity of those countries was proper.
Russia should have waited for a more friendly government to come to power in Kiev to push for proper and legal separation process: with both Kiev and Crimea agreeing to the plan. Russia's total isolation in today's UN Security Council vote showed how unacceptable its approach to Crimean secession is; even China did not support its position. Hasty and emotional move on part of Putin that will come back and haunt that country for many years to come.
I don't understand, honestly, notwithstanding Putin's illegitimate and indefensible actions in Crimea : how can we decently imply notions such as selfless concern, respectable actions or "proper" way of doing anything as if they were genuinely caring, for a country they shattered in otherwise every regard possible like in Iraq where the situation is do dire people still die by the thousands a month at a rate Saddam couldn't compete in his best day repressing his own people ? Afghanistan was already lying in ruins before the invasion thanks to CIA funded, trained and equipped Mujaheddins and Soviet involvement that gave them the excuse of building such a fantastic monster plaguing the whole region to this day. So here the rule indeed doesn't apply, I concede they may have kept it as integrally dire as it was, eaten from the inside by civil war after the USSR withdrew, but still whole as a backwards non-country, I concede.But back to Iraq, how can we praise their alleged "push for territorial integrity" where their illegal invasion and occupation campaign intrinsically harmed it and stomped upon it in so many ways ? in which way did they do that considering they propped up a Kurdish government currently at dangerous odds with the central government with little to no consultation ? I'm not saying letting the Kurds have their own territory was a bad thing, but they acted so recklessly in promoting them in such a unilateral and hasty way it will be a mess for years to come to add to the very long list of issues hurting Iraq as we speak...And what about their actions in Serbia where they unilaterally proclaimed Milosevic was a danger to Kosovo locals and thus "forced" NATO to go and act, blatantly profiteering from a then very weak Russia of which they knew it wouldn't react, and then accepted and validated their unilateral proclamation of Independence in 2008 in full defiance of Serbian authorities, liable to the very same regards they're pointing at now in Crimea not complying with the Ukrainian government to do the same ?Finally, what about Libya which is now struggling along both criminal and sectarian fault-lines ?And what about Iran itself where they have been known to exert maximum influence to fan the flames of every separatist flash-point since the inception of the Islamic Republic ? what about their support for the GCC's claim on Abu Musa about which they never cared an instant during the Shah ? Variable geometry lecture of the UN Charter, just like Russia, where morality and fairness stops along the lines of your geopolitical interest and agenda. The fact that Russia is isolated today only shows its actions are wrong, but the US or Europe are none to lecture them the way Samantha Powers did considering her stance and her country's on Palestine, on which I won't even elaborate since their abusive posture is known to the whole worlds with Israel as isolated as Russia on every UN resolution.
Let's discuss Crimea here. Do you really believe that you have figured out how relations between countries should be regulated, and all member states of UNSC, including China, the West, and the Asian, African and Latin American countries are in the dark? Please study today's vote in UNSC, and begin questioning your view on Russian's veto.Just because you oppose the West, does that give you the standing to favor Russian action to dismember Ukraine; only because the West is on the other side of the fight, even if that other side is the proper side? Isn't such analysis more based on ideology?
AnonymousMarch 15, 2014 at 10:36 PMWell said
I would in turn invite you to read my post again, since you already have your answers on my view contained within it. Here are a couple of quotes that might help get a clue towards my position in regards to Russia : "[...]honestly, notwithstanding Putin's illegitimate and indefensible actions in Crimea[...]" ==> 1st sentence in my post, none can miss it.or "Variable geometry lecture of the UN Charter, just like Russia, where morality and fairness stops along the lines of your geopolitical interest and agenda. The fact that Russia is isolated today only shows its actions are wrong, but the US or Europe are none to lecture them[...]" ==> I said "just like Russia", which equals whatever I despise in the West's position with Russia's on Crimea.Is that not enough of a hint to my appreciation of Russia's standing ?Yes I absolutely agree here : let's discuss CRIMEA here, and not take the opportunity of their supposed moral high ground of the day by trying to sell us their supposedly respectable actions when they invaded, destroyed and occupied other countries in violation of the same UN Charter they are so quick to remind the world and defend like brave troopers of democracy, yet again. I do not see what is ideological in nature when I simply recall history and one party's factual illegitimacy and hypocrisy in taking such a stance in an issue that is opposed to their very deeds in another similar one when it comes to its own interests. That is a rationale, not an ideology, and that works both ways here, for Russia as well as the "West", but yes more specifically the US, considering it holds the recent and ongoing record in breaking international law in the face of the whole international community would it be through drone campaigns or physical infringement of third party sovereignty like in the aforementioned cases.Plus, this kind of moral opportunism on the part of the likes of Samantha Powers requires consecration in a wider context of similar situations to analyze basically who did what in their time and compare it to their actual stances, I do not see the need for taking every issue in a vacuum devoid of the historical element, at the contrary it is History that allows us, in my opinion, to judge the degree of sincerity of a given actor towards a certain event in time. I condemn Russia as much as I despise the way the US is taking advantage of a situation in which they abused the world (and even trying to abuse Europe, if we consider Nulland's infamous statement in a leaked and confirmed phone conversation) so much repeatedly in their record while you try to defend and salute some of their actions within a myriad of destructive self-centered initiatives they unilaterally took in their time against given Nation still suffering them to this day, I did not find it fair nor appropriate , that is all.
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