Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has held a meeting with Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Mogherini used her meeting to justify the EU’s sanctions levelled against Russia since 2014. She again raised the tired old issue of Crimea to justify the sanctions.
The EU’s almost pathological obsession with Crimea is not only strange but it is becoming mystifying.
The EU is not the United Nations and many member states of the fractious body have expressed discontent with a European trading and cooperative bloc involving itself in foreign affairs, especially when those foreign affairs do not in any way impact on the EU’s ability to function on behalf of its member states.
As it stands, the EU imposed sanctions have if anything, helped the Russian agricultural sector. The opposite is true of countries in the EU like Poland who have seen their export markets retard since the imposition of sanctions.
Furthermore, with actual political crises in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and East Asia, it beggars belief that the EU insists on speaking of a non-existent crisis.
Crimea is not now nor has it recently been a war zone nor a region of political conflict. Had the votes of the Crimean people in 2014 not be immediately recognised by Russia, Crimea may well have become a war zone in the way that Donbass has become for this very reason.
Luckily, in the case of Crimea, Russia directly listen to the democratic expression of self-determination from the people and since then, Crimea has continued to function as a peaceful Republic of the Russian Federation. The same is true for the Federal City of Sevastopol which voted to re-unite with Russia at the same time as the rest of Crimea.
Lavrov answered the strange EU grievances with an interesting analogy, one that in the wake of Brexit will ring close to home for officials in Brussels. He stated,
“Since Federica mentioned the Crimea, I will note that the Crimea is part of Russia in accordance with the will of the Crimean people. I have not heard that the European Union has challenged the statements of the British Prime Ministers on the Falkland Islands that no one has the right to challenge the right of the people of these islands to self-determination. We ask, at least, for the same attitude towards the people of the Crimea, which are much closer to Russia”.
In the eyes of the wider world, Crimea’s peaceful status has long been settled. Many in the EU are starting to increasingly starting to sound like post-war German reactionaries who wanted a post-1945 Germany to return to its 1938 borders. That did not happen and nor will the status of Crimea change.
One is tempted to say, “Some peninsulas are Russian, get over it”!
This is all the more relevant today as the only major peninsula where there is conflict is on the other side of Russia. It’s called the Korean peninsula.