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

1 2 3 4 5 8
  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Tovarish Goss!

    “Well actually the Tatars (Tartars) and Ukranian minorities have my sympathy. I hope they are treated well by the majority. But let us face it, if there had not been a mob takeover of the legitimately elected government, this would never have arisen.”
    _________________

    Translation for the non-tovarishes : they asked for it.

  • E2

    Professor Lockerbie, Boyle is right. There were radiological-emergency things going on in the Irregular Challenges game, and more than one of the parallel games featured Ukraine funngames – of course they didn’t come out and say a coup was the trigger. The NWC work would be the tip of the iceberg.

  • John Goss

    Uzbek

    What you say is right. There are a lot of individual life decisions which have consequences worldwide. Buying fair-trade tea, not buying Uzbek cotton and not buying products tested on animals are things we can all do, providing we know who Uzbekistan is selling its cotton to. But really it would better if exploited workers of these countries started trade unions and fought for better working conditions, higher wages and industrial laws. We did it in this country. Yes, some employers did provide better working conditions than others but if the workers had not fought for these rights we would not have them. I have been watching “Mr Selfridge” on Channel 3 and the unions could not convince the employees that it was in their interest to join a union. But Selfridge was paying them well and working conditions were good. However Selfridges in those days was a high-end department store and he could afford to pay them more. Other companies and industrialists were less considerate of workers’ rights.

    The Labour Party, which was built out of the trades’ union movement, just had the last nail banged down its coffin by Ed Miliband. A book I would recommend, especially when the big depression comes is “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” by Robert Tressell.

    I have not taken offence by the way.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    N

    Because Russia keeps Belarus on float. If only Lukashenko changes his course (or Belarusians drop him like Ukrainians did with Yanukovich) than Belarus will experience similar things (as Ukraine now). But I guess many here consider Lukasheno a good legitimate president. He is antiwestern of course.

  • ESLO

    John Goss

    I think the minorities in the Crimea will be looking for something rather better than hope when it comes to their treatment by the Russian majority in Crimea. Russia, even post the Soviet Union, has a truly appalling record when it comes to the treatment of its minorities (and anyone who wishes to argue otherwise really is a useful idiot). International protection and formal undertakings will be needed and the arrangements need to agreed well in advance of any referendum, because the one thing you can be assured of is that any leverage for negotiation will disappear once and if the Crimea is incorporated into the Russian Federation.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Old Mark

    Stalin was Georgian. But it did not stop him to become promoter of Russian chauvinism on a global scale. It even disgusted Chairman Mao (who was until then keenest supported of good communist course and inspired by soviet experience).

    History is full of strange things, and not at least collaborators.

  • Stephen Morgan

    Propagandised should be propagated. Propaganda: that which is propagated, the term originally not having the modern negative connotations, but meaning education.al

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Tovarish Scorgie

    “Uzbek your, English is amazingly good today”
    __________________________

    As good as your punctuation is bad.

    But thank you for an interestingly profound reaction to Uzbek’s points, made with your usual good faith.

  • ESLO

    Old Mark

    If this joker had tried storming State Buildings in Moscow he wouldn’t be here to tell the story. I hope the Ukranian authorities take a more lenient approach – and to date they appear to have done so despite the massive provocation that they have faced. I suspect that they know all too well that Putin, being the bully he is, is just looking for a cause to walk into Eastern Ukraine.

  • doug scorgie

    “The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision. “

    “Of course, over time, even two armed blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.”

    Henry Kissinger: The White House Years (1979

    I hate to quote a war criminal but the above seems to be true.

  • lwtc247

    “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.”

    – With respect Craig, you have zero authority not to respect their vote. What you have witnessed was democracy, irrespective of whether it followed the course you personally wish it to or not. Just like the Iraq vote was democracy. Personally I’m with Russell Brand on this and will not vote for a system that produces Iraq war votes or ‘integration’ with Russia. but you do, and hence you are bound by it. It doesn’t suddenly become invalid because it doesn’t follow the path that you see fit, otherwise you don’t really value the system – warts and all – that you say you do.
    There are very good reasons (and some bad) that this vote should have been taken quickly.

  • OldMark

    History is full of strange things, and not at least collaborators.

    Uzbek in the UK- what evidence is there in Temirgaliev’s past to support your collaborationist smear ?

    I know, given your background, you probably have grounds to assume that non Slavs in the FSU who are pro Moscow must, by definition, be ‘collaborators’- but assumptions aren’t facts.

  • OldMark

    ‘If this joker had tried storming State Buildings in Moscow he wouldn’t be here to tell the story’

    So, those who occupied government buildings in Kiev a fortnight ago are brave freedom fighters

    Those who seek to occupy government buildings in Eastern Ukraine today are ‘jokers’.

    Useful to get that learnt.

  • OldMark

    ‘I notice that the Putinistas are all excited about the intercepted call between Lady Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister’

    …and the Natopolitans are all in full ‘move along, nothing to see hear’ mode.

  • Herbie

    Uzbek

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

    Bollocks!

    I think you’ll find that’s true of neo-cons, fascists, conservatives, and even liberals, I’m afraid.

    Grow up!

  • OldMark

    Apologies for the typo above (‘hear’); Habba is doubtless crouched over his keyboard and ready to pounce on this gross error!

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    6 Mar, 2014 – 5:33 pm

    “Only page 1, and the Jooos are here already!”

    Stop behaving like a child and show some respect…it’s Jews not Jooos.

  • nevermind

    Oh yes lets bring Tovaritsch Hitler into it, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, now that should feel better now there there. So which part of Moldova/ Bulgaria Poland will be annexed next?

    What would Hitler say to all of this and why has his British equivalent Enoch P. not got a bombastic memorial statue of his likeness yet. Now where are my hobnail boots.

  • Resident Dissident

    “With respect Craig, you have zero authority not to respect their vote.”

    I have not noticed much respect from Putin and Putinistas for the 1991 Independence Referendum when every region in the Ukraine voted by a clear majority for Ukrainian independence – the difference then is that the vote wasn’t made facing the barrels of Russian guns.

  • nevermind

    “Agree with you. And if Crimea did declare itself in favour of returning to Russia, so much the better – it would remove yet one more pretext for Russia to bully Ukraine into following its own failed model.”

    followed by this:

    “Tovarish Goss!

    “Well actually the Tatars (Tartars) and Ukranian minorities have my sympathy. I hope they are treated well by the majority. But let us face it, if there had not been a mob takeover of the legitimately elected government, this would never have arisen.”
    _________________

    Translation for the non-tovarishes : they asked for it.

    So the Tartars that who now live in Turkey for some time have asked for it, have they? what a load of chickenshit comments here today.

    For the Crimean, Putin barebacking Parliament to undermine the rest of the Ukraione with a referendcum, when the agreement already stipulates elections later on in the year, is undermining Kiev’s interim Government.

    Habby, denigrating others does not grow you a spine, how about telling us, for the first time ever, who should be in charge in Kiev, since you are so up for undermining the Ukraine. Who will be in charge when you had your way? Kiev’s interim Government falls and the Crimean is Russian?

    Come on clever dick, be bold show us your calcified self.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    I do really hope that the quoting of a certain “Professor Francis Boyle” earlier today is not a sign that the Eminences are about to admit the said professor into their Panthéon of political and moral gurus (current false gods : the egregious Dr Paul Craig Roberts, the ineffable Professor Michel Chossudovsky and the insignificant Binoy Kampmark – he of the Commonwealth scholarship, last( har(d of in Australia.

    I must admit, however, that Professor Boyle would be in good company there. Among his various statements and views:

    * Hawaii should seek independence from the US
    * refers to the Israeli blockade of Gaza as a “genocide”
    * Obama was bought and paid for by the Zionists
    * fellow law professor Alan Dershowitz is a war criminal
    and
    * should be shipped off to Israel to strand trial there for war crimes
    * Israel is nothing more than a Jewish bantustan
    * Israel should change its name to Jewistan.

    I predict a bright future for the good Professor on this blog.

  • lwtc247

    “I have not noticed much respect from Putin and Putinistas for the 1991 Independence Referendum when every region in the Ukraine voted by a clear majority for Ukrainian independence – the difference then is that the vote wasn’t made facing the barrels of Russian guns.”

    – Either have I. So where do we go from here?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Nevermind

    I think you’ve misunderstood me : I was “translating” Kommissar Goss’s language into a clear version of what he really meant. It is he – not I – who believes that “it serves the Ukrainians right”.

    As for the Crimea : if they want to rejoin Russia and so vote in a free and fairly-conducted referendum, then OK. It would have the extra advantage of removing a Russian pretext for acting against Ukraine in the future. That said, if I was advising the Baltic states, I would say “don’t wait until rasPutin does a Crimea on you – expel those Russian bastards NOW”. I’m sure the Russians wouldn’t mind such a course of action, because they are experts in expelling populations.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    I especially enjoyed John Kerry raving about the chance with new democracy in the Ukraine and then almost tripping over himself saying that Crimea voting for a referendum to decide their future was unconstitutional and against International Law.But it’s okay to choose a President by counting hands in a crowd.The colours were turned up by the BBC to hide his embarrassment I think.
    It could be coo incidence but there was seemingly for the past 6 weeks much activity and excitement in a little round building in Gloucester.Am sure it was the new menu in the canteen and nothing to do with Ukraine.
    And lo and behold the FM of Estonia is now saying that what was clearly recorded and confirmed as what he said, was not what he really wanted to say.Somebody got their script wrong.
    The UK are all for sanctions as long as “the City” gets an opt out. Maybe that’s what gave Cameron his red neck and face.He was angry alright.Hague looks more and more like a ventriloquists dummy without the ventriloquist.
    Things are moving along for sure but not as NATO wants.Russia has too many good cards at the moment and the West is already blinking.And with that I’ll burst into song with “Georgia on my mind”.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now the Crimean parliament has voted unanimously to join Russia – something that Moscow will undoubtedly accept – and the referendum in two weeks is to determine aka ratify what has been done.

    Now the fur will really start to fly if the West is willing to go to war over it – what I think won’t happen.

    Putin looks like the big winner to me.

  • fred

    “The UK are all for sanctions as long as “the City” gets an opt out.”

    Nobody is seriously considering sanctions except some idiot Congressmen in America who didn’t bother sitting down and doing the maths.

  • Ben

    “Nobody is seriously considering sanctions except some idiot Congressmen in America who didn’t bother sitting down and doing the maths.”

    True enough, but they do the polling math for local re-elections and they can go home and say they did something about xenophobists while Bankers do their numbers unencumbered. 🙂

  • John Goss

    Stephen Morgan, propagating is what you do to plants to help their growth. You can buy a propagator to do this. Propaganda is what rich people produce to persuade others to accept something unacceptable. They can buy a politician to do this.

1 2 3 4 5 8

Comments are closed.