With Russian military forces in place to “protect Russian citizens,” Crimea can declare independence, federate with Russia, or do whatever it wants. Meanwhile, it will be very hard for the EU and the US to make any argument against Crimean self-determination that doesn’t reek of hypocrisy. While I don’t find the Kosovo analogy compelling, it provides Russia with a pretty big rhetorical stick. And as Obama put it in his statement yesterday:I can see the logic here, in terms of rhetoric at least, which is the focus of DN's remark. But there is of course a difference; while I'm not saying here how much weight it should carry (that would be too long a discussion for the moment), the difference is that Ukraine is a recognized state, Crimea isn't. How does that bear on the asserted right to self-determination, and does it weaken the "rhetorical stick"? A topic for another time, perhaps.
Now, throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: the Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future.Moscow might aim to turn Crimea into a permanent lever over Kiev, support its independence and de facto annexation, or for formal federation via future plebiscite. All three might easily reflect the fundamental principle that “the Crimean people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future.”
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Further note on Ukraine
Dan Nexon writes: