Crimea Referendum 232


The principle of self-determination should be the overriding consideration, and the Crimean Parliament’s decision to hold a referendum on union with Russia is something which always needed to be part of a solution.  But plainly  this month is much too fast, and a referendum campaign which gives people an informed and democratic choice cannot be held while the Crimea is under Russian occupation and those against the proposed union with Russia are suffering violence and intimidation.

The EU needs to move towards Putin.  An approach that sticks rigidly to Ukrainian territorial integrity being inviolate is sterile.  An international agreement is possible, if the EU makes plain to Russia that it accepts the principle of self-determination.  Agreement should then be reached on immediate withdrawal of Russian forces into their allocated bases in Crimea, and back to Russia if there are indeed extraneous numbers, and an international monitoring presence for the OSCE.

The referendum should then be scheduled for the end of this year, with guarantees of freedom of speech and campaigning, equal media access and all the usual democratic safeguards, again to be monitored by the OSCE.

The apparent pullback from violence has been very useful, but the diplomatic and economic fallout is still potentially very damaging.  Following the Anschluss, Hitler held a referendum in Austria within one month of the military takeover and received 99.7% support.  At the moment Putin stands open to a legitimate accusation of pulling precisely the same stunt in precisely the same timescale.

 

 

 


232 thoughts on “Crimea Referendum

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  • Uzbek in the UK

    One more thing.

    Defeat of Germany (in WWI) is the greatest mistake in history. Hitler

    Dissolution of USSR is the greatest mistake in history. Putin.

    Revanchism in both cases, perhaps?

  • John Goss

    Uzbek

    I know what you are saying. We are pretty unanimous that just about all the Ukrainian leaders are thugs. But there has been an illegal coup, and those behind it are also thugs.

    Since you had a little risque joke “Every diplomatic initiative will be as useful as fart on the wind.”

    Propaganda is a goose with bollocks.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss,

    Honest thank you for English lesson.

    On a matter of investigation, of course I agree. But not by Russian (only). Lets set up commission comprising of some sort of international professionals (either European and Russian, or even better from elsewhere who would have less grounds to be biased).

    The only thing I regret to be reminded by this is DENIAL (greatly SUPPORTED by Russia) of such independent investigation of Andijan massacre. Reminder of that it seems that in this world some of us have more rights (usually comes with whiter skin) than others.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Meant “Sweden’s statsministe”r in my previous post.

    Have you heard this knock-knock joke?

    President Putin to President Obama: “Knock. knock!”

    Obama: “Whose there?”

    Putin: “Crimea.”

    Obama:”Cry Me A Who?”

    Putin: “Crimea river!”

  • fred

    As I see it the civic buildings and things need to be guarded by someone.

    So the only question is, who would the people of Crimea feel most intimidated by, Russian soldiers or Ukrainian soldiers.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss,

    Well I have spent a lot of time on this blog and I think most of the people here would prefer version of thugishness (if there is such word in English) of political establishment everywhere (including our own UK). But somehow we need to move forward. With thugs running the country we still have to demand respect of our rights and punishment of others crimes, etc.

    Illegal coup, perhaps. But surely this is not the reason of Russian intervention as you stated earlier.

  • doug scorgie

    Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 – 2:14 pm

    Trowbridge H. Ford

    If you tell me at least 5 substantial differences between Putin and Hitler I will be glad to educate myself on this matter.

    I for once can tell you about 5 communalities.

    1. Suppression of opposition and reducing legislative branch of power to rubber stamp.

    2. Confrontational foreign policy to straighten support at home.

    3. Support and encouragement of chauvinism and fascism (Russian in this case).

    4. Drive of hegemonic attitude towards neighbouring countries from Belarus to Central Asia and Caucasus.

    5. Masterly planned and executed provocations (similar to Wehrmacht solders dressed in Polish military uniform shooting German civilians).

    Uzbek your, English is amazingly good today

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Trowbridge H. Ford

    You said “Putin is no war monger, only trying to work out national and ethnic problems so post-Soviet Eastern Europe can become a peaceful, prosperous place where Russia is given due recognition, not just a target for the neocons who want to get rid of it because of its potential.”

    Interesting idea especially “only trying to work out national and ethnic problems so post-Soviet Eastern Europe can become a peaceful, prosperous place where Russia is given due recognition”.

    Now I am somehow convinced that employing your warmongering methodology one can conclude that Hitler was no warmonger either. He also only wanted to work out complicated post WWI ethnic problems, plus Jewish problems (using your definition of problem) and ensure that Europe become peaceful, prosperous place (it is actually written black on white in Mien Kampf) where Germany is given due recognition and not humiliated after WWI.

    Do not you agree?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    doug scorgie

    Thank you. I always feel embarrassed when lack of my English weaken my arguments.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Fred

    If only Crimea was separate entity. But we know that possibility of it is equal to 0.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I am not employing any kind of war-mongering methodology – just talking about the facts.

    Palme was assassinated to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War – what Putin stopped by his spying in Washington, and the counter measures he adopted to stop it from ever getting started.

    The USS Toledo did sink the Kursk – what Clinton wrote $10 billion in Russian debt off in compensation for.

    In short, I don’t see anything much to compare Putin to Hitler, who was a master at making such ‘false flag’ operations to suit his most aggressive ambitions.

  • John Goss

    Uzbek in the UK

    Your English is very good. I’ve always thought so.

    I don’t think that I have advocated Russian intervention, not in terms of occupation. If you can find somewhere I would be interested to see if I need to apologise for that mistake. However I do believe that like any power it would be seen as weak if Russia did not try to protect what it considered its interests. US bases are spreading like mushrooms. I fear for society. I do not wish to be controlled by Russia or the US. I see Russia and China, though I do not share their philosophies necessarily, as checks against US imperialism, and not only do I believe there should be a proper investigation into the Andijan massacre, but I have subscribed modestly to Michael Anderssons’ film on the subject. The west continues to support the Karimovs despite their dictatorial government. You cannot, and I don’t think you are doing, compare Uzbekistan to Ukraine. Or can you?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Paul Rigby

    Your suggestion is certainly very appealing. But bankrupt states (or individuals) are usually not in a strong position to negotiate terms of their bail out.

    And why Ukraine is bankrupt? Not at least because its stronger neighbour (on the east) does not want to see anything challenging coming out of Kiev in either economic or political terms. One need to look at Belarus to see future of Ukraine under Russia.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    “I am not employing any kind of war-mongering methodology – just talking about the facts.”

    Me too. Just talking about the fact, that you despite your claim seem to ignore.

  • Ben

    Careful Craig. Killary got herself into a rhetorical bind when she compared Putin to Hitler. You don’t want to align yourself with the likes of her.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    In short, I don’t see anything much to compare Putin to Hitler, who was a master at making such ‘false flag’ operations to suit his most aggressive ambitions.

    Talking about “his most aggressive ambitions”. Not sure if this is NOT applicable to Putin (as you claim it does not). Can you please explain in details?

    Intervention to Georgia, pressure on Kazakhstan to join Euroasian union (by blackmailing Nazarbaev with Russian majority in the north), pressure on Azerbaijan (by keeping pulse on Nagorny Karabakh), economic pressure in Belarus (by making sure that potatoes are the only export from that country), gas blackmail of Europe to make sure Berlin and others (in Europe) are not so critical of anything they supposedly should be critical (according to Human Rights Declaration), making sure that all oil pipelines from Central Asia reach Europe ONLY by bypassing Russia, and so on.

    All these at least should make one thing about aggressiveness, do not you agree?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Ben

    Lets talk about this comparison. I have already started. Why not notice black cat in perfectly lighted room?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    “Trowbridge H Ford” (here) ‘Palme was assassinated to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War – what Putin stopped by his spying in Washington, and the counter measures he adopted to stop it from ever getting started.’

    ‘Trowbridge H Ford ( acc.Wikipedia), a former US army intelligence agent now living in Stockholm, among other bloggers, theorizes that Palme, as the UN mediator seeking an end to the Iran-Iraq war, was assassinated because he fell afoul of Iran-Contra.’

    Hmmm. Changed “your” tune a bit, haven’t you?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss

    There are certainly many differences between Uzbekistan and Ukraine but one striking similarity is in fact present. Both are experiencing pressure from former (present) big brother which leads to the stagnation (both economic and political) Status quo is what at least Russia wants. Return of USSR (direct control of former soviet republics including foreign policy) is what Putin is after now.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss

    You said ” I see Russia and China, though I do not share their philosophies necessarily, as checks against US imperialism,”

    Perfectly understandable. Balance of Power theory is still pretty much alive despite resulting in more than 400 years of almost continuous conflicts. I myself was more of Democratic Peace theory man, but your argument (and recent developments) convinced me that more nucs, more tanks, more warships, and more of things that can/will kill are needed to maintain life (I realise this sounds idiotic) on this planet.

  • John Goss

    I agree Uzbek it does sound idiotic. Perhaps when the dollar crashes we can start again and put peace at the forefront. The hawks (whether the bald eagle or two-headed eagle) have had it all their own way for too long.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss

    Not to forget that the last Great economic downturn (1929) led to the largest death toll in human history. Considering quantity of nucs that both eagles (and a dragon and a lion) have at their disposal, I am not convinced that there will be many of us left to start things again.

    Or are you sympathetic to Lenin’s ‘I am ready to sacrifice 90% of population to let 10% live in communism’ (something like that)?

  • John Goss

    The trouble is the west (US in particular) is in so much debt everything working people earn is going into paying it off. I was not talking about Nukes. I’m going to ignore your comment about Lenin because I think people on this blog know I have a great respect for the sanctity of life – all life, so much so, that while I think Muslims have been persecuted I support the recent request for the stunning of animals before slaughtering them, despite religious objections from Muslims and Jews.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Haven’t changed my theories about the Palme assassination one iota.

    The Ira-Contra plotters, led by Ollie North, Navy Secretary John Lehman, and his pals had been planning shortly after Reagan took office to take out the USSR somehow, and when the Swedish statsminister stopped a shipment of arms through Sweden to Iran on November 17, 1985 – what resulted in the White House making claims which could end his Presidency – they decided to trigger the non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War at Palme’s expense.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    John Goss,

    Thank you for spotting my nukes misspelling.

    Sorry did not mean to offend you. It is just lefties (at least the ones I came across) tend to disregard sanity of life (and freedom for that matter) when it comes to the ideological domain.

    Talking about conditions of working people in US (and it the west in general) and not bringing into conversation conditions of working people elsewhere it is like talking about vegetarian dietary with cannibals. 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Indians, 200 million Bangladeshi, etc, would HAPPILY swap with the lowest paid working class individual in the west. Hardship of exploitation by local elites (corrupt Communist party or nationalistic driven parties), is a lot MORE comparing to ‘hardship’ that western workers experience from their greedy bankers. We (westerners) of course be better off (morally) not to exploit these (non westerners) but who would agree to pay £20 for a t-shirt made in the UK as opposed to the one for £3 made in Bangladesh by 7 years old girl?

    Let be honest on this matter?

  • OldMark

    The timing of the proposed referendum is indeed very hasty; it should be postponed, and will naturally elicit comparisons with the Anschluss, as Craig does here.

    Two points though-

    1.The 99.7% voting for union with Germany may have been a fantastic exaggeration, but does anyone doubt that a clear majority of Austrians were pro Anschluss in 1938 ?

    2. The Crimean parliamentarian calling for the snap referendum is himself of Tartar, not Slav, ancestry-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rustam_Temirgaliev

  • John Goss

    Slightly off topic

    I’ve just been watching Cameron losing his bottle after the Brussels’ talks. He has the look of a madman about him. He is angry. I have never seen him so cross. He clearly did not get his own way, which was probably something more immediate. He says he’s not disappointed but his face and manner reflect something different.

  • N_

    Uzb: something wrong with your logic:

    And why Ukraine is bankrupt? Not at least because its stronger neighbour (on the east) does not want to see anything challenging coming out of Kiev in either economic or political terms. One need to look at Belarus to see future of Ukraine under Russia.

    So why is it Ukraine, this week, that’s more likely to default than Belarus?

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