Obama can’t have it both ways

President Obama and President Putin in a meeting in 2013

President Obama and President Putin in a meeting in 2013

Source: CNN.Com

By Simon Tisdall, assistant editor of the Guardian, Special to CNN
CNN Editor’s note: Simon Tisdall is assistant editor and foreign affairs columnist at the Guardian. He was previously foreign editor of the Guardian and the Observer and served as White House correspondent and U.S. editor in Washington D.C. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his.

London (CNN) — Whatever U.S. and European leaders may say, it seems clear a majority of the residents of Crimea were only too happy to abandon Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The referendum held there on Sunday was illegal according to Ukrainian constitutional law and took place under duress, following the large-scale incursion of “pro-Russian forces” — and voters did not have the choice to say “no” to severing ties with Kiev.

But these failings aside, it appears plain that most of Crimea’s population, with the exception of the Tatar minority and some ethnic Ukrainians, was content to return to what it regards as its ancestral home. The crucial turnout figures of up to 83% are suspect and may well be inflated. But independent reporting of enthusiastic celebrations suggested the overall outcome genuinely reflected popular wishes — and was crudely democratic.

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Categories: Europe, Europe and Australia, European Union

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2 replies

  1. It is praiseworthy that Russia took Crimea without a bullet fired and with no loss of precious lives. Compare this to Kosovo, South Sudan, iraq, the Paletinian struggle etc.

    In my view Putin is punishing America for instigating the unrest in Kiev (remember the F… word used by the undersecretary of state.

    While Obama was ready to use force against Iran and Syria (and Bush used force against Iraq) it is quite amusing to see that that the American military threat is not even an option when it comes to Russia.

    I am not a fan of Putin, but there is more disadvantage when there is only one block in this world.

  2. You are right. However the fear of nuclear war is also one factor which keeps the USA at arms length with all nuclear capable nations.

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