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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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"Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« on: March 1, 2014, 04:33:00 PM »
Anyone been following this? Tense stuff. I'm no analyst of international relations, but what are the thoughts of people here? I'm by this point half-expecting Russia to sponsor an ethnically Russian puppet-breakaway-state, but I hope that's the worst that could come from this. Though obviously I hope for even less than that.

- For those who don't know - the Ukrainian President, after being ousted, fled to Russia where he currently is, still claiming legitimacy.
- Russia has been mobilizing 150,000 troops along its western border, allegedly as part of an exercise and to prevent terrorism or border unrest, as well as its Black Sea fleet.
- Russia has seized two military airports, through the use of unmarked soldiers, and support from ethnically Russian militias in Crimea. This was long a bit of a mystery, but Russian officials have stated it's them now.
- The move has been ratified by the Duma, the parliament of Russia, iirc.

Offline Irisado

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #1 on: March 1, 2014, 05:28:48 PM »
Yes, I'm following it.  I also have quite a few Russian colleagues, so it's news at work too.

While there is a danger of escalation, I think that, at this stage, it's a lot of sabre rattling to gain the diplomatic upper hand.  A conflict is not in the interests of either party, and a proxy war in Ukraine between the United States and Russia would be extremely damaging to both sides, so I can't see it happening.

The big danger will be conflict between pro-Russian and pro-European groups within Ukraine.  That's what I think that all parties want to avoid, but whether they can put aside their own differences to achieve that remains to be seen.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #2 on: March 1, 2014, 08:28:30 PM »
You're probably right, but it's tense still.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #3 on: March 1, 2014, 09:25:32 PM »
A little info dump: Explainer: The Budapest Memorandum And Its Relevance To Crimea

Quote
Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.

In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. They did so by applying the principles of territorial integrity and nonintervention in 1975 Helsinki Final Act -- a Cold War-era treaty signed by 35 states including the Soviet Union -- to an independent post-Soviet Ukraine.

Now, while this is a diplomatic agreement and not a treaty, hence not as binding, it will be a smack in the face for which ever side abandons their side of it. On top of that we have the Ukraine being a member of NATO and thus having the option to call the defence pact option requiring outside assistance. Of course NATO has been a rather wet blanket for a while now and I highly suspect Russia won't even give it the giggle test as whether to restrict their options in the long run.  http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/concoughlin/100261457/dont-expect-nato-to-save-ukraine-from-the-russians/

The situation is still developing but while I feel it won't bubble under into a full scale conflict we have seen Russia getting rather pissy with their neighbours when they feel like it.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #4 on: March 5, 2014, 01:48:36 PM »
Most people interviewed by Norwegian media seems to believe that the current Russian tactic is to stall for time until there can be a Crimean referendum on joining the Russian Federation.

Offline Irisado

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #5 on: March 5, 2014, 01:52:53 PM »
Partition is a possibility, but the government in Kiev would not be in favour of that, and neither, in my view, would the Russians.  Russia wants to maintain its influence in Ukraine, and Ukraine wants to keep hold of what it sees as its territory (Crimea).

Russia may also find that it has not received the support that it thought that it would from the Ukrainian military.  A number of whom have been trying to gain access to their bases, and have been unwilling to surrender control to the Russian forces occupying various military bases in Crimea.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #6 on: March 5, 2014, 07:28:13 PM »
Partition is a possibility, but the government in Kiev would not be in favour of that, and neither, in my view, would the Russians.  Russia wants to maintain its influence in Ukraine, and Ukraine wants to keep hold of what it sees as its territory (Crimea).

Russia may also find that it has not received the support that it thought that it would from the Ukrainian military.  A number of whom have been trying to gain access to their bases, and have been unwilling to surrender control to the Russian forces occupying various military bases in Crimea.

I believe Russia has stated on multiple occasions that it does not view the current government in Kiev as a legitimate, so I'm not sure exactly how much they care.

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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #8 on: March 6, 2014, 07:43:08 AM »
Well, amphetamine parrot. Whether that's true or not, that's gonna create a bit of a stir.

Offline Spirit of Kurnous

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #9 on: March 6, 2014, 08:54:51 AM »
A little info dump: Explainer: The Budapest Memorandum And Its Relevance To Crimea

Quote
Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.

In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. They did so by applying the principles of territorial integrity and nonintervention in 1975 Helsinki Final Act -- a Cold War-era treaty signed by 35 states including the Soviet Union -- to an independent post-Soviet Ukraine.

Now, while this is a diplomatic agreement and not a treaty, hence not as binding, it will be a smack in the face for which ever side abandons their side of it. On top of that we have the Ukraine being a member of NATO and thus having the option to call the defence pact option requiring outside assistance. Of course NATO has been a rather wet blanket for a while now and I highly suspect Russia won't even give it the giggle test as whether to restrict their options in the long run.  Don't expect Nato to save Ukraine from the Russians – Telegraph Blogs

The situation is still developing but while I feel it won't bubble under into a full scale conflict we have seen Russia getting rather pissy with their neighbours when they feel like it.

Ukraine isnt actually a NATO member at the moment.
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Offline Ollieb

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #10 on: March 6, 2014, 09:49:28 AM »
Odd how Russia thinks the world is so stupid that by removing unit patches they can claim that it isn't their soldiers who are occupying Crimea.  Either that or I never realized that there were that many private citizens with armored vehicles parked in their garages.  My bet is the EU will rattle the cages and talk big but nothing more will come of it regardless of what Russia does.  They'd rather have access to cheap Russian imports than do what is right and impose sanctions.  Time will tell. 
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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #11 on: March 6, 2014, 10:56:36 AM »
My bet is the EU will rattle the cages and talk big but nothing more will come of it regardless of what Russia does.  They'd rather have access to cheap Russian imports than do what is right and impose sanctions.

My bet is that the US will do pretty much the same.
But feel free to convince yourself that Uncle Sam is a bastion of shining morals in the wilderness.

Offline Irisado

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #12 on: March 6, 2014, 11:36:38 AM »
It seems as if the snipers were indeed hired by the opposition...  :-\

Ukraine Protests: Leaked EU Phone Call Suggests Kiev Snipers Were Hired by

Regarding the telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Paet and EU High

Olga, the source for this, denies that she was referring to the opposition as a whole.  Remember that there are very disparate groups in the Ukrainian opposition.  Some are mainstream, some are less so.  It could easily have been rogue elements, rather than the 'official opposition'.

Odd how Russia thinks the world is so stupid that by removing unit patches they can claim that it isn't their soldiers who are occupying Crimea.  Either that or I never realized that there were that many private citizens with armored vehicles parked in their garages.  My bet is the EU will rattle the cages and talk big but nothing more will come of it regardless of what Russia does.  They'd rather have access to cheap Russian imports than do what is right and impose sanctions.  Time will tell. 

I'm curious about your assertion of right and wrong here.  What makes it right to impose sanctions?  Is that going to alleviate the tension or make it worse?  The last thing that anyone in the EU wants is an escalation of this crisis, so it's arguable that imposing sanctions isn't the right course of action.  As always, in politics, there are many shades of grey, rather than right and wrong.

The EU's hands are tied.  On the one hand, it doesn't want to see Russia exerting undue influence on Ukraine, and effectively occupying the country.  On the other, it doesn't want to give the impression that it would be possible for Ukraine to become an EU candidate country (it's currently covered by ENP, which rules out membership of the EU).  The EU thus has a very difficult balance to strike, and is walking a diplomatic tightrope.  There aren't really any good options to choose from.
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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #13 on: March 6, 2014, 11:55:55 AM »
Odd how Russia thinks the world is so stupid that by removing unit patches they can claim that it isn't their soldiers who are occupying Crimea.  Either that or I never realized that there were that many private citizens with armored vehicles parked in their garages.

More specifically, that there are that many private citizens with armoured vehicles bearing Russian plates.  And soldiers who are admitting to being Russian when questioned.
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Offline Ollieb

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #14 on: March 6, 2014, 12:42:02 PM »
My bet is the EU will rattle the cages and talk big but nothing more will come of it regardless of what Russia does.  They'd rather have access to cheap Russian imports than do what is right and impose sanctions.

My bet is that the US will do pretty much the same.
But feel free to convince yourself that Uncle Sam is a bastion of shining morals in the wilderness.

Thank you for playing.  So in essence what you are saying is if it is a country on the EU's doorstep then by all means the US should get involved so Europe can stay out of it?  Just this once why not show us how it is done, or is allowing a neighbor to get invaded and sectioned off without lifting a finger your idea of the right thing to do?   
 
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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #15 on: March 6, 2014, 01:44:33 PM »
Thank you for playing.  So in essence what you are saying is if it is a country on the EU's doorstep then by all means the US should get involved so Europe can stay out of it?  Just this once why not show us how it is done, or is allowing a neighbor to get invaded and sectioned off without lifting a finger your idea of the right thing to do?   

What I'm saying is that regardless of what the EU member states decide to do, the US has just as much economic clout and just as much capacity to impose sanctions on a country that is willfully flouting international law, and just as little economic incentive to do so.
And given the US's recent track record regarding the illegal invasion of sovereign, then grandstanding about how morally deficient the Europeans are is frankly laughable (or sick...).

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #16 on: March 6, 2014, 02:25:29 PM »
The US has already started the sanction process as well as visa restrictions.

One thing France could do would be to cancel/delay delivery of the Mistral helicopter carrier landing ships. One's scheduled for delivery late this year and the other a year later. Amusingly or not, the second ship is actually called Sevastopol. There's precedence for such a move with England vs Turkey in 1914 and the US vs Iran in 1980 canceling orders and keeping the ships for themselves. A big chunk of change (1.2-billion-euro) to mess around with though.

Ukraine isnt actually a NATO member at the moment.

Absolutely correct. No idea where I got that one from and my bad for not double checking.

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Offline Ollieb

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #17 on: March 6, 2014, 03:13:59 PM »

What I'm saying is that regardless of what the EU member states decide to do, the US has just as much economic clout and just as much capacity to impose sanctions on a country that is willfully flouting international law, and just as little economic incentive to do so.
And given the US's recent track record regarding the illegal invasion of sovereign, then grandstanding about how morally deficient the Europeans are is frankly laughable (or sick...).

No need to reiterate what Rummy said.  You should check your facts before hitting the post button but why do research eh?  So again because you feel the US isn't doing enough then the EU should do nothing?  Just trying to figure out your point here.   

   

PS I have searched everywhere I know and can find no documentation in any world organized body declaring any US invasions anywhere illegal.  Please feel free to open an new thread if you do find a resolution that stated such. 
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #18 on: March 6, 2014, 08:03:32 PM »
Iraq wasn't exactly a shining example of clear-cut ius ad bello. But that's a discussion for a different thread, I agree. Regardless, it doesn't make what Russia is doing now any better, so it's fairly irrelevant. We could bring in European colonial empires and sink into a bog of Tu quoque/"appeal to hypocrisy"-arguments.

Anyway, to reiterate Irisado's point, it seems that Paet has repudiated the claim that his phone conversation was intended as an assesment of the sniper events, but more as a summary of things he'd been told.

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Krise in der Ukraine: Telefonat mit Ashton abgehört - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Seems like Russia is serious about annexing Crimea though; at least judging from a) their refusal to negotiate directly with the government in Kiev b) their refusal to acknowledge the troops on Crimea as theirs, and c) the recent referendum in Crimea for joining Russia.

It's limited what the EU can do, I mean, 25% of all gas in EU comes from Russia. It's going to be a cold spring if Russia decides to cut those lines. I'm not sure if they can afford that, financially - but I don't know too much about this kind of stuff.

Clearly this is a plot by Norway for driving up the price of oil.
« Last Edit: March 7, 2014, 11:22:53 AM by Sir_Godspeed »

Offline Katamari Damacy

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Re: "Crimean Crisis" Anno 2014
« Reply #19 on: March 7, 2014, 08:41:07 AM »
PS I have searched everywhere I know and can find no documentation in any world organized body declaring any US invasions anywhere illegal.  Please feel free to open an new thread if you do find a resolution that stated such.

Really? Is this some sort of sick sarcasm? The last fifty+ years have been a series of unjustified interventions from the US everywhere in the world. But i guess Mr. Kerry's comments on the current events reflect a general lack of historical awareness that is so present in the land of the free. Anyways, this probably belongs in the 'why we hate the US thread'  ;)
-----
The SPIEGEL article really does not offer any new insights to what we already know. Mr Paet is busy explaining that he was not referring to the current 'Ukrainian Government', but to unknown parties.

I would guess that Russia will stay in Crimea until the vote is done. There isn't much the West can do about it other than protest and impose some more or less effective sanctions. The EU is dependant on russian gas and - quite frankly - they don't give a amphetamine parrot about the Ukrainian people.

In my view this whole mess is the opposition's fault after all. There was a plan for re-elections and they threw Janukowitsch (sp) out of the crountry litteraly the day after that plan was made.
« Last Edit: March 7, 2014, 08:43:57 AM by Katamari Damacy »
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