Moscow Demands West Not Collaborate with Neo-Nazis; As they Move to Integrate Crimea

Moscow Demands West Not Collaborate with Neo-Nazis; As they Move to Integrate Crimea

March 20, 2014 • 9:37AM

The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued several statements related to Ukraine in the past 72 hours. Mostly ignored by the international media, they reflect the current emphasis within Russian diplomatic efforts to cool out the situation there.

Two days ago, March 18, the Foreign Ministry once again addressed the role of right-wing extremists in Ukraine, this time focusing on

“the participation of representatives of ultra-nationalist forces, in the executive branch agencies that have laid claim to power in Ukraine.”

It noted that members or allies of the Svoboda (formerly “Social-Nationalist”) Party are currently deputy prime minister and defense minister of Ukraine. The program of Svoboda, it points out,

“provides for an array of anti-democratic measures, including the reinstatement of an ‘ethnicity’ line on i.d. documents, stripping the citizenship of people who are dual citizens, criminal sanctions for ‘anti-Ukrainian’ acts, and ‘harsh restrictions on the public use of any languages other than Ukrainian’.”

Svoboda states that Ukraine should continue the principles of the state proclaimed (by Stepan Bandera and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) on June 30, 1941, which “expressed its desire to fight for a ‘new order’ in Europe and the world, side by side with Hitler’s Germany.” Svoboda also wants Ukraine to become a nuclear power. The Russian Foreign Ministry also points out that the European Parliament in December 2012 characterized Svoboda as “racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic,” and urged democratic forces to avoid cooperation with them.
“None of this, however, has deterred high-ranking representatives of the USA and the EU from contact with Svoboda, including its lead O. Tyahnybok.”

It notes opposition to such collaboration, coming from “sober voices” among Western politicians and analysts.

Today the Russian Foreign Ministry rebuked Western powers for throwing the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in Russia’s face.

“One would like to ask how the calls from the EU and the USA for sanctions against the Ukrainian leadership, during the unrest in Kiev, fit with the Budapest Memorandum guarantees”

of Ukraine’s sovereign rights. It accuses the USA and the EU of

“actively abetting a coup d’etat in Kiev, acting in violation of Ukraine’s political independence and sovereignty and of the Budapest Memorandum.”

Also today, the Russian Foreign Ministry disputed the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s claim that the Crimean referendum was illegitimate because only “indigenous” peoples have the right to conduct referenda, and Russians are allegedly not “indigenous” anywhere in the administrative borders of Ukraine, inherited from the Soviet period.

Russia Moves Quickly to Integrate Crimea

Russia’s Constitutional Court, based in St. Petersburg, today approved the documents by which Russia has accepted the region of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as constituent territories of the Russian Federation.

President Vladimir Putin, in a meeting with the government on economic issues, took detailed reports from the ministers of transportation and industry, concerning measures to integrate Crimea. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov reported in detail on infrastructure connections with Crimea, including passenger air service, seven passenger trains with the possibility of boosting to 29 at peak periods, and the rail and car ferry over the Kerch Strait. He noted that the project for a bridge across the strait has passed the feasibility study stage.

The Russian cabinet meeting also confirmed that pensions for seniors in Crimea are now operational. The level will be double, in real terms, the level they were receiving within Ukraine.

Leave a Reply