Crimea declares independence, applies for Russian reunion

posted at 8:01 am on March 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Well, what did people expect after a mandate of 93% — excuse me, 96.7% — in the plebescite yesterday? Shortly after Crimea voted overwhelmingly (with the helpful presence of Russian troops occupying the peninsula) to secede from Ukraine and become an independent state, its parliament then declared independence. It followed that proclamation by working to stop being independent and instead attach itself to the Russian Federation:

A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday for negotiations on how to proceed further. Russian lawmakers have suggested that formally annexing Crimea is almost certain.

The Kremlin clearly put the issue on a fast track. Both houses of parliament were set to gather for a joint meeting in the Kremlin on Tuesday to hear President Vladimir Putin’s address on the subject.

The parliament has formally requested recognition for its new status at the UN and with Western nations, but they’re not going to get it — and that will extend the diplomatic issues with Russia. If Putin and Russia’s Duma annex Crimea, it will technically be a seizure rather than a legitimate annexation in the paradigm of self-determination. No Western nation is going to recognize the legitimacy of a plebescite held under occupation by foreign troops, no matter how many ethnic Russians live on the Crimean peninsula.

On the other hand, Putin told Barack Obama that the West already has set that precedent, and Crimea is merely following it. Anyone remember … Kosovo?

President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday the United States rejected the results of Crimea’s vote hours earlier to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, and again called for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict.

Speaking by phone on Sunday afternoon, Obama “emphasized that the Crimean ‘referendum,’ which violates the Ukrainian constitution and occurred under duress of Russian military intervention, would never be recognized by the United States and the international community,” the White House said in a readout.

Putin argued that Crimea’s vote was “fully consistent with international law,” the Kremlin said in its readout, pointing to Kosovo’s 2008 vote to separate from Serbia as setting the precedent for Sunday’s balloting.

But the United States and its partners disagree. They believe that “Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said, and “are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia,” including sanctions and visa restrictions.

Well … there are a couple of parallels. NATO occupied former Yugoslavian states to prevent more atrocities in the Balkans wars, which fragmented the post-Versailles construct of Yugoslavia into its historic, ethnic-based states. Kosovo, however, had long been part of Serbia — certainly longer than Crimea had been part of Ukraine — and yet the West rushed to recognize it after a unilateral declaration of independence in 2008. Five months later, Putin rolled into South Ossetia and Abkhazia and briefly into Georgia proper, before pulling back and recognizing the independence of those two enclaves.

This looks like even more payback. That doesn’t make Putin right or this any less of a farce, but it does highlight the fact that Putin has been the West’s chief geopolitical adversary at least since Kosovo, and probably ever since Putin took power after the Boris Yeltsin era of Russian retreat. He’s playing a long game here, not operating from a piecemeal strategy. And that should have the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia very, very worried.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

…JugEar’s is working to get his approval numbers in the 90′s!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 8:05 AM

But the United States and its partners disagree

…we have partners?

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Aside from the fact that “local defense groups” just happened to be equipped with all the latest Russian military equipment, this is a thorny situation no matter how sanctions, international outrage, or anything else plays into the outcomes.

Russia has a case for taking over Crimea. Ukraine has a case for rejecting the annexation. And, of course, Putin knows that the US has no leadership that will act. Just a lazy stupid rat-eared coward who will stomp his foot and send a mean letter to Moscow and then go about gutting the military, turning Israel into a Muslim state, and (of course) pandering to the gays.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Ok President Panty Waste, head to Cuba, surround the island and tell the socialists to get out. Go to Venezuela and block the oil. Tell the socialists to get out. Ok, I know that is like telling your mother to quit feeding your drunken father, but what the hell. DO SOMETHING!

hip shot on March 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

…we have partners?

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Sure we do! Updated to include Obama’s BFFs UK, EU, NATO, Germany, Libya, Syria, Iran, and the PLO

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

The way things are looking, Obama’s going to run out of red crayons soon.

OldEnglish on March 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

And that should have the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia very, very worried.

But these two are part of NATO. To abandon them would mean a complete capitulation of the alliance and America’s word. No American president would allow that to happen. Even progressive presidents such as Wilson and FDR went to war on behalf of America. Why, one would have to be an anti-American president to allow such a thing.

Oh, wait, I forgot who was president . . .

We are about to find out just what flexibility means.

rbj on March 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Most Crimeans want to inexplicably want to be part of Russia. The only thing to worry about is if Putin decides he wants the rest of Ukraine. Apparently Merkel is working on it. She, unlike our dear leader, is a real leader and this should be basically a European thing. Sorry, I lean libertarian.

crankyoldlady on March 17, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Vladimir Putin’s rise to becoming this planet’s strongest and most successfully assertive leader is a testament to the pathetic lack of leadership in the Free World,with the’leaders’of the US leading that spineless pack.

SweetSensationalist on March 17, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Wow, Seantor Senile’s cane-rattling didn’t end this whole thing already?

M240H on March 17, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Sharrukin does happy dance in 5,4,3,2,1…

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Smart power. Glad the adults are in charge now.

rightside on March 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Wow, Seantor Senile’s cane-rattling didn’t end this whole thing already?

M240H on March 17, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Oh, He’ll probably be making the rounds later today blaming it all on Ted Cruz and the Tea Party.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Smart power. Glad the adults are in charge now.

rightside on March 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Yeah, Obama will probably be on TV today with his stern look for Putin.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

myiq2xu on March 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

This looks like even more payback. That doesn’t make Putin right or this any less of a farce, but it does highlight the fact that Putin has been the West’s chief geopolitical adversary at least since Kosovo, and probably ever since Putin took power after the Boris Yeltsin era of Russian retreat. He’s playing a long game here, not operating from a piecemeal strategy.

How to say b*tchslap in Russian?

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 8:35 AM

The good news is that if Putin keeps “playing the long game” then eventually we won’t have to endure such a long Opening Ceremony for the Olympics.

SayNo2-O on March 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM

How to say b*tchslap in Russian?

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 8:35 AM

сука пощечину (translation close enough for friends)

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

…we have partners?

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Those extra 7 states Obama invented in 08 remember?

Gatsu on March 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

No blood for Medovuha!!! What did Putin ever do to us??

texacalirose on March 17, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Sounds like we know less about this than we do about Flight 370.

faraway on March 17, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

myiq2xu on March 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

More like 97% in this case.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Russia has a case for taking over Crimea. Ukraine has a case for rejecting the annexation. And, of course, Putin knows that the US has no leadership that will act. Just a lazy stupid rat-eared coward who will stomp his foot and send a mean letter to Moscow and then go about gutting the military, turning Israel into a Muslim state, and (of course) pandering to the gays.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:12 AM

By Jove, I think you’ve figured it out. Obama will enter into tough negotiations with Russia & will make many threats. Then Putin will offer to have a referendum on gay rights in Russia in exchange for us recognizing Russian annexation of Crimea. Obama will agree, will declare victory, and Putin will have a referendum in which 93.6% of Russians vote against gay rights.

By the way: isn’t it great how dictators always seem to have free & fair elections they win with 90%+ of the vote? Obama must be jealous.

Outlander on March 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

How to say b*tchslap in Russian?

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 8:35 AM

сука пощечину (translation close enough for friends)

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

спасибо

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

By the way: isn’t it great how dictators always seem to have free & fair elections they win with 90%+ of the vote? Obama must be jealous.

Outlander on March 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

The rat-eared terror is more interested in the super-achievers. Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung Un, and Washington State legislators get over 100% of the vote in “free and fair” elections.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 8:48 AM

The difference between Kosovo and the Crimea is that the US or EU did not invade Kosovo and then have a vote that Kosovo could become the 51st United States.

————
The US and EU have to beef up their presence in eastern Europe.

US & EU were blindly playing the game of Russia is a our friend and ally while Putin was wearing his fake smiley face mask to cover the monster that he is.

albill on March 17, 2014 at 8:48 AM

спасибо

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

You’re welcome.

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 8:48 AM

By Jove, I think you’ve figured it out. Obama will enter into tough negotiations with Russia & will make many threats. Then Putin will offer to have a referendum on gay rights in Russia in exchange for us recognizing Russian annexation of Crimea. Obama will agree, will declare victory, and Putin will have a referendum in which 93.6% of Russians vote against gay rights.

By the way: isn’t it great how dictators always seem to have free & fair elections they win with 90%+ of the vote? Obama must be jealous.

Outlander on March 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Last week, in the midst of the Crimean crisis and on the heels of the Sochi Olympics, Mr. Putin’s approval rating had increased to 71.6 percent, the highest point since he returned to the presidency in 2012, according to a poll released by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion last week.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/world/europe/as-putins-popularity-soars-voices-of-opposition-are-being-drowned-out.html?_r=0

As to King Preezy Choom The Magnificent I

Болтуна язык до добра не доведёт.

A fool’s tongue runs before his feet.

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 8:52 AM

But… but… but… Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus and… the Biebs.

Aren’t these and the plot twists of soap operas more important to the general American populace?

While our enemies are playing chess, we are living in fear of Obama… thanks to our feckless GOP “betters”.

TheRightMan on March 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM

The US and EU have to beef up their presence in eastern Europe.

US & EU were blindly playing the game of Russia is a our friend and ally while Putin was wearing his fake smiley face mask to cover the monster that he is.

albill on March 17, 2014 at 8:48 AM

“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
― Winston Churchill

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 9:03 AM

When the Soviet Union was broken up in the 80′s, the U.S. and Europe promised Russia that it would not take the former Soviet countries into NATO or the emerging EU. The U.S. and the Europeans have done nothing but antagonize Russia, trying to get the Ukraine into it’s sphere of influence and tap it’s resources. I am not so certain that Russia doesn’t have a legitimate gripe here. I mean, would we really want Mexico or Canada under the control of Russia or China?

fight like a girl on March 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Another Churchillian quote about Russia (and, little did he know, modern America):

“Russia is a country with an unpredictable past.”

- Sir Winston Churchill

“Predictable History, Unpredictable Past” Explained

Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 9:50 AM

…JugEars is gonna be mad…when he reads about it!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

One group of people of a certain nationality floods into a region within another country. That other country then invades into that territory over ‘concern for their people’ while that majority of people take a vote to become part of their original country – the country that is invading.

Hmmm….Mexicans flood into Souther California. After a few years, when they make us a significant portion of the population, Mexico makes the move to take Southern California while Mexicans (Illegals/Mexican Americans…) make a push to cecede and become part of Mexico…. Texas is out because Texas wouldn’t put up with any of that shi’ite! lol)

easyt65 on March 17, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Kosovo was mulled over for nine years. Crimea didn’t even get a month. And outside forces were originally brought to Kosovo — multinational forces — to stop a genocide as it was happening, not by one country’s paramilitaries under the false pretext that Russians were being mistreated maybe somehow and an invasion was happening but not really. Comparing the two is playing into Putin’s game.

calbear on March 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

See, we should have never backed those watch stealing Albanians in Kosovo.

Dino V on March 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM