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Transcript of Crimean Annexation
By, Nathaniel Long
Vladimir Putin claims that the annexation was done with, "full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms." -Vladimir Putin
Putin says that the majority of people in Crimea are Russian and that it is the duty of Russia to protect the interests of Russian people wherever they are.
The most recent public poll in Russia before the annexation showed that 86% of Russians view Crimea as a part of Russia and 92% were in favor of reunification.
Putin claims that, "Crimea has always been a part of Russia."- Vladimir Putin
Several countries such as India and China as well as a few central Asian countries supported Russia in this situation.
Putin said in his speech that Crimea holds profound cultural and historical ties with Russia. He also said that “Russia is an independent, active participant in international affairs; like other countries, it has its own national interests that need to be taken into account and respected.”- Vladimir Putin
Putin believes that the different ethncities will live together in harmony in the future.
Was the annexation of Crimea justified? ( Pro-Russian Viewpoint)
Crimea's population is 58% Russian, 24% Ukrainian, and 14% Crimean Tatar with another mixed 4%.
Crimea and Russia have profound ethnic and cultural ties.
Some of Russia's biggest natural gas and oil pipelines run through Crimea and Ukraine which supply half of Europe.
There is a lot of Russian history and culture on the peninsula.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to create a Eurasian Union separate from the E.U. with Ukraine and other Asian countries.
Why Does Russia want Crimea?
Crimea is a peninsula in the Black Sea that has been contested for hundreds of years.
Crimea has gone back and forth as being a part of Russia and Ukraine.
Crimea was a Russian territory until 1954 when Nikita Khrushchev handed it over to Ukraine.
Crimea has been a part of Ukraine since 2014.
Crimea is a strategical location on the Black Sea and is the current location of Russia's Black Sea naval fleet, it also offers many natural resources.
In 2014 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych failed to sign a trade agreement which caused riots and rallies. Months later Yanukovych fled to Russia which set off the annexation of Crimea.
In 2014 Crimea held a vote in which 96% of Crimean people voted for reunification with Russia.
Crimean People holding a Russian flag that says ‘Russia Crimea Together Forever’ during a rally to mark anniversary of controversial referendum to join Russia.(From 2015)
People holding Russian and Crimean flags at Lenin Square after the end of the referendum in Simferopol, Crimea.
Was the annexation of Crimea justified?( American/ Western Viewpoint)
President Obama said that Russia did not comply with international law and therefore should be punished.
Obama said in a speech, “... Russia’s violation of international law, its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, must be met with condemnation...”- Barack Obama
NYU said that the referendum "violated the [Ukrainian] Constitution, domestic legislation, and the basic principles of democracy."
The European council on foreign relations says that "The Russian regime divides people into two categories: those who can be intimidated and those who can be bought." - Dimitar Bechev
The United Nations and western countries have imposed sanctions and condemned Russia for its actions they also suspended Russia from the G-8 (which is where the most industrialized countries in the world meet each year to discuss world economic problems.)
World leaders claim that these sanctions will harm the economy and international reputation of Russia.
The U.S. is also supporting Ukraine as they seek to join the European Union and to establish a democratic government.
Ethnic groups such as the Crimean Tatars did not want to join Russia as they felt they would be in danger in the future. Some Ukrainian populations in the region also did not want to become part of Russia
The U.N. the E.U. and many western countries do not see the annexation as legitimate.
Conclusion: Was the annexation of Crimea justified?
Overall the annexation was not justified, it went against international law.
Some Ukrainians and Tatars did not want to join Russia.
There still is a continuation of violence in Ukraine.
Pro-Russian forces have advanced into Ukraine making matters worse
Thousands of civilians and soldiers have died because of the ordeal and the situation in Ukraine still remains unstable.
Although 96% of people in Crimea voted for unification with Russia, the actions taken by Russia in the annexation were unorthodox.
The U.N. , the European Union and many western countries do not recognize the annexation and consider it to be illegitimate.
Was Russia's annexation of Crimea Justified?