Sunday, March 16, 2014

Crimea Votes to Secede

     According to the Daily Mail, a Crimean referendum on secession from the Ukraine to Russia has passed overwhelmingly, with 95 percent voting to join Russia (based on a count of 50% of the votes counted so far). Under classical liberal concept of self-determination--and whether we agree with their decision or not--the people of Crimea should be recognized now as Russian, and the territories as part of Russia (although their needs to be talks on how best to transfer possession and for compensation of investments that the Ukraine may have made in Crimea). 

     However, like all other theories of international law, it really comes down to what the most powerful want. And, in this case, Obama does not want it:
The speaker of Crimea's regional assembly said Moscow was likely to respond swiftly to Sunday's referendum on the southern Ukrainian region joining Russia. 
'I think that (Russia) will answer quickly, because you see what is happening to people, it is an important event, it is not only a Crimean event, it is a Russian and a global event,' Vladimir Konstantinov told Rossiya 24 news channel. 
Despite the US, EU and Ukrainian government declaring the ballot illegal and saying they will not recognise the outcome, the Kremlin is backing Crimean officials. 
Russian sources have confirmed President Putin spoke to Barack Obama by telephone, saying the vote 'complies with international law'. 
However the President responded by saying that the vote 'will never be recognised' by the US, and instead warned Russian against further military moves outside of Crimea.
Whatever Obama wants, this is one of the most important geopolitical trends of the last 20 years. First, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the partitioning of other states. (Iraq, for instance, is a de-facto bifurcated state). In the United States, the past couple of years have shown increased interest in certain regions wanting to secede from their States. This is an idea whose time has come, and it will probably fuel many conflicts and crises over the next several years. And yet it will take most of the United States by shock when portions of South California and other border region vote to secede from the United States.

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