Thursday, 20 March 2014

Russian take-over of Crimea

The Ukrainian capital, Kiev, erupted in violent demonstrations and street clashes in late January, culminating with the removal by Parliament of President Viktor Yanukovych. Tensions mounted in the Crimea region, where additional Russian troops and armoured vehicles were reportedly deployed.


English: Ukrainian Presidential Election Octob...
Ukrainian Presidential Election October 2004 - Viktor Yanukovych (First Round) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The last few days we saw how how the Crimean people could only give two votes in Sunday's referendum of which we can question if it was legally installed. The referendum in which 96.8 percent of Crimean residents voted in favour of the secession could also been seen as a voice of the majority. The voter turnout in the referendum stood at 83.1 percent. Those who did not turn up to give their vote in a certain way can now not complain.
It for sure did not resolve in Ukraine the country’s ongoing political crisis.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Monday, March 17 the proclaimed independence from Ukraine, will further worsen the situation around Ukraine. 


Ban Ki-moon is “deeply concerned and disappointed” that this weekend’s Crimea secession referendum will only exacerbate an “already complex and tense situation.”

Since the beginning of the crisis, the UN chief has urged all parties to avoid “hasty steps” that could exacerbate tensions.
“He encourages all parties to work for a solution that is guided by the principles of the United Nations Charter, including respecting Ukraine’s unity and sovereignty,”
 said Mr. Dujarric.

What we in the West hear is only that most Tartars stayed at home and did not go to vote. So you could wonder if they now can complain. Looking at the results,in case they where received honestly the majority of the voters in Crimea overwhelmingly supported leaving Ukraine and joining Russia. The referendum caps months of political unrest, triggered by the Government's decision last November not to sign an agreement on broader European integration. The Ukrainian capital, Kiev, erupted in violent demonstrations and street clashes in late January, culminating with the removal by Parliament of President Viktor Yanukovych. Tensions mounted in the Crimea region, where additional Russian troops and armoured vehicles were reportedly deployed.

In his statement today, the Secretary-General condemned the violence which occurred over the weekend in eastern Ukraine and which resulted in injuries and loss of life on all sides.
“The Secretary-General once again urges all parties to refrain from violence and to commit themselves to de-escalation and inclusive national dialogue in the pursuit of a political and diplomatic solution,”
 said Mr. Dujarric, adding:
“A deterioration of the situation will have serious repercussions for the people of Ukraine, the region and beyond.”  

The UN chief also urged all parties in Ukraine and those with influence to avoid any steps that could further increase tensions.
“Above all, the Secretary-General urges all concerned to intensify their efforts and engage constructively toward a peaceful solution to this crisis, with the aspirations of all the people of Ukraine foremost in mind,”
said Mr. Dujarric, adding that Mr. Ban remains ready to work with all parties to resolve this situation.


Moscow and Kiev are on the brink of conflict following a breakdown in relations in the wake of last month's overthrow of Ukraine's former Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.
On Tuesday, Putin signed a treaty absorbing the Ukrainian region of Crimea into Russia and on Wednesday pro-Russian troops stormed a Ukrainian naval headquarters on the peninsula.
 

Much of the international community, including the United States and the European Union, rejects the annexation of Crimea as illegal, but Moscow in turn refuses to recognise the Ukrainian government. 

The Secretary-General will travel to Kiev on Friday, where he will hold talks with top Ukrainian officials, members of the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission and representatives of civil society.
The statement said the visit was "part of (Ban's) diplomatic efforts to encourage all parties to resolve the current crisis peacefully". Key elements of the charter include respect for fellow U.N. member states' sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the peaceful resolution of international disputes.

The Christadelphian brothers and sisters in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Crimea thankfully can report that they are all well, and unaffected so far by the protests and the Russian take-over of Crimea. However their cost of living will increase as the grivna devalues against foreign currencies, and imports cost more.

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