by Stephen Lendman
On March 16, 2014, Crimeans showed what democracy is all about - voting by open, free and fair referendum overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, wanting a historic error corrected.
Turnout exceeded 83%. Nearly 97% of Crimeans chose Russia, rejecting illegitimate Kiev putschist rule.
No Kremlim pressure or intimidation influenced voters. No Russian soldiers were in sight. None invaded. None occupied Crimea then or now.
US-led Western propaganda turned truth on its head, ignoring international law.
Self-determination is a universal right. People everywhere have the right to choose their sovereignty and political status with no outside interference.
The 1941 Atlantic Charter, adopted by America, Britain and their allies during WW II, affirmed the right of self-determination, its principles including no territorial aggrandizement, no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people - self-determination, restoration of self-government a universal right for all people everywhere.
The UN Charter affirms “the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people…”
Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states:
“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “(e)veryone has the right to a nationality (self-determination). No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his (or her) nationality nor denied the right to change his (or her) nationality.”
In December 1960, UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 granted independence to colonial countries and their people, affirming their right of self-determination.
At the time of Crimean’s referendum, Russian lower house State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin slammed US-led Western hypocrisy - rejecting Crimean self-determination, while recognizing illegitimate Kiev rule, installed by a brazen US-orchestrated coup.
March 18 marks the fourth anniversary of Crimean reunification with Russia. It followed Putin signing a decree, affirming the overwhelming sentiment of its people.
Russian parliamentarians overwhelmingly approved it. So did its Constitutional Court.
A Kremlin document said reunification was “based on the free and voluntary expression of will by the peoples of Crimea at a nationwide referendum, held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on March 16, 2014, during which the people of Crimea made the decision to reunite with Russia.”
Two new Russian constituent territories were formed - the Republic of Crimea and Federal City of Sevastopol, given “special autonomous status.”
Crimea’s land border with Ukraine became Russia’s state border. Crimeans automatically became Russian citizens. Those wishing to retain Ukrainian citizenship were free to do so.
On Sunday, in response to being asked if Moscow would consider returning Crimea to Ukraine under any circumstances, Putin said:
“What are you talking about? Such circumstances do not exist and never will.”
Crimea is Russian territory - not about to be handed to Ukraine or any other country for any reason.
Crimeans chose to rejoin Russia. Their status is permanent, not temporary.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at [email protected]
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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