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Double standards on Crimea

Double standards on Crimea

In 2014 the people of Crimea, in a well-organized democratic referendum, decided to join the Russian Federation against the background of the civil war in Ukraine. They voted to preserve peace and stability on the peninsula. 

Unfortunately, seven years after the successful development of Crimea, Russia’s efforts to secure international recognition of the current status of the peninsula are resisted by the collective view of the Western partners that the “annexation of Crimea is contrary to international law.” The legal arguments, references to the people’s democratic and free well as well as to similar cases in other nations’ history suggest hypocrisy and arrogant mentorship.

According to international experts in the field, such persistence is explained by the fact that Crimea remains a convenient tool for some Western nations including the United States to put pressure on Russia for their own competitive benefit. 

The “double standards” practices against the likes of China and Russia, which are often based on misleading or blatantly false allegations, hamper the steady development of the world political situation, thereby endangering whole regions. 

One of the most convincing examples of the dual approach is the contradictory positions of the western countries on Crimea and the issue of German reunification. In both cases, the legal status of a certain territory was changed strictly based on the conclusion of international treaties (the German Reunification Treaty of 29 September 1990 and the Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation of 18 March 2014) between two sovereign states.

It is important to note that unlike the reunification of Russia and Crimea following a free and voluntary expression of the will of the Crimean people at the all-Crimean Referendum, no referendum was held in East Germany for the accession to West Germany.  

Also read: How South Asian states are managing Chinese influence 

It is also important to point out that by refusing to recognize the right of the Crimean people to self-determination, the German establishment “forgets” that Russia, understanding the importance of democracy in international relations, supported Germans’ right to self-determination during the reunification of Germany in 1990.   

One of the key theses of those opposing the return of Crimea to Russia is the Crimean Tatar issue and the violation of human rights in Crimea. However, the rights of national and religious minorities in Russian Crimea are carefully protected. 

The reunification with Russia allowed for the better protection of the rights of all the national and religious groups on the peninsula: the Crimean Constitution nowadays has three State languages (Russia, Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian) with the education being provided in all these tongues, according to the people’s choice. In the Russian Crimea (compared to the Ukrainian) the policy of language equality and diversity is established at the legislative level. 

Today, in contrast to the Ukrainian period, there is a public Crimean Tatar TV channel “Millet/People” as well as a radio channel “Vatan/Motherland”. Religious freedom is also preserved and respected. Since 2014 more than 40 new mosques have been built in Crimea. The construction of the 4,000-capacity Main Cathedral Mosque is being finalized.

The perfect example of the double standards used by the United States and its allies is the active broadcasting of the persecution of Hizb ut-Tahrir members by the European media and their sympathy for convicted criminals. It is highly suspicious that these media have covered the questionable reputation of this radical terrorist organization, which is banned not only in Russia, but also in Germany, Turkey and most Muslim nations. 

All in all, the numerous occasions of selective ignorance that the United States, the EU, and their allies persistently demonstrate towards the Crimean issue goes against the spirit of democracy and human rights. The free choice of the Crimean people to join the Russian Federation made at the legal referendum should be heard and respected. 

The views are the writer’s and do not represent the newspaper