© Collage: Voice of Russia
Crimea and Kosovo have much in common: an autonomous status, military bases of other countries on their territories, and a longing for independence among the majority of the population. But there are distinctions, too, – different patrons.
Of late, many people compare the events in Crimea with the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999. And they interpret the events according to everyone’s liking. For example, former US Ambassador in Moscow, Michael McFaul, claimed on CNN that military intervention on the part of Russia was unacceptable, because there was a big difference between the situation in Crimea and in Kosovo in 1999.
“We should not compare Crimea and Ukraine with Kosovo and Serbia. Serbia threatened the Kosovars, and Ukraine does not threaten anyone.”
But can a state threaten a part of its own territory? Serbs, Albanians, Turks, and others nationalities live in the autonomous region of Kosovo. There is no such nation as “the Kosovars”. Whom did the US protect there? There is not a single American in Kosovo, and there are 1.5 million of Russians in Crimea. It makes a big difference. For the Western media, however, there is much in common between Crimea and Kosovo. Here is what Ian Traynor wrote in The Guardian:
“The tactics and methodology used by Milosevic during the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo, are obvious. If Putin has decided to become a new Milosevic, the West will see a new split in Europe.”
Slobodan Milosevic wanted things to get better, but it turned out the wrong way. He had no strength to resist NATO’s expansion to the East. The US wanted to expand its forces from the West to the East of Europe and chose the Serbian autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija to create its strategic base. With this purpose they even used the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which was included in the American list of terrorist organizations.
The anti-terrorist operation of the Serbian special ops units against the KLA in the village of Račak in January, 1999, was used as a pretext for the bombings of Yugoslavia without permission of the United Nations. Western media presented the operation in the village of Račak as a mass murder of civilian population and urged the US to act and protect innocent people. And ten years later, Helena Ranta, Finnish forensic doctor, wrote in her autobiography that she had written the report about this incident under pressure from the then head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo, William Walker, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and that there had been corpses of Albanian terrorists, and not civilians.
After the NATO forces entered Kosovo, the US built the second largest base in Europe there – Bondsteel. It allows US to control the area of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and also the routes to the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus as well as the energy transit from the Caspian region and Central Asia. According to them, stationing in Serbia is perfectly legitimate and it is also very profitable for them. Americans do not pay for the use of state lands in Kosovo. In contrast to the Americans in Kosovo, Russia pays for its base 100 million dollars a year. And it is for 230 years already that the Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed in Crimea. “The Black Sea Fleet is not homeless. Its home is in Sevastopol,” – Vice-Premier of the RF Dmitry Rogozin said. 50 years ago, Crimea was a part of the USSR, whereas the US simply occupied a part of the Serbian territory by means of aggression and is doing everything in order to create its puppet state there.
Historical, economic and cultural relations with Ukraine give Russia the full right to interfere in order to protect its people. And what is the US doing in Serbia?
Several volunteers from Serbia arrived in the city of Sevastopol, to help local self-defense units and Cossacks to ensure order at checkpoints around the city, ITAR-TASS reported.
Photo: Twitter / James Mates
This was announced at a press conference in Sevastopol, which was attended by the Serbs who have arrived.
“We represent ‘Chetnik Movement’ organization, you can compare them with the Cossacks in Russia. Our goal – to provide support on behalf of the Serbian people to the Russian people. Now you have the same thing as it was in Serbia. West and the EU give money to the opposition and tell them how people live well in Europe, but it’s all a lie,” said the leader of Serb volunteers Milutin Malishich.
“We came at the invitation of the Cossacks. During the civil war in Yugoslavia, many Russian volunteers came to support the Serbian people. We are a small nation and we can not send a large number of people, but we have a great love for the Russian people,” said Malishich.
According to the Cossacks, the Serbs will be serving on one of the checkpoints at the entrance to the city.
Parliamentarians in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol have adopted declarations on the territories’ independence which is required for the judicial procedures as part of their entry into Russia, as well as for the referendum, a legislature spokesman said.
“A very important document – a declaration of independence – was adopted during the session. This document is needed for the judicial procedures as part of Crimea’s entry into Russia, as well as for the Crimean referendum,” the Crimean lawmaker added.
MPs of Crimea and Sevatopol stress that they acted in strict compliance with the UN Charter and took into account the fact that unilateral proclamations of independence don’t violate international law. The provision was approved by the UN International Court on July 22, 2010, in relation to Kosovo.
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states, usually breakaway territories from within the larger state.
Such declarations are typically made without the consent of the associated state or union, and hence are sometimes called unilateral declarations of independence, particularly by those who question the declarations’ validity.
In human history, there is a body of examples when part of the larger state decided to secede, however, a few of them particularly came to public notice.
In the United States, the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, announcing that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a union that would become a new nation—the United States of America.
The Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova was a document adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova following the failure of the August coup attempt. The founding act of the Republic of Moldova from 1991 is celebrated on August 27, the National Day or Independence Day. The Republic of Moldova gained official recognition of statehood on 2 March 1992, by becoming a member of the United Nations.
The 2008 Kosovo Declaration of Independence was adopted on 17 February 2008 by the Assembly of Kosovo. The participants unanimously declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia while all 11 representatives of the Serb minority boycotted the proceedings. It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo’s Albanian-majority political institutions, the first was proclaimed on 7 September 1990. The legality of the declaration and whether it was an act of the Assembly has been disputed. Serbia sought international validation and support for its stance that the declaration was illegal, and in October 2008 requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. The Court determined that the declaration did not violate international law.
But wait, there’s more…
Saber-rattling Chuck Hagel confuses “Baltic” and “Balkan”…
…no one corrects him…
Add this: our illustrious Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in briefing on March 5 referred to Poland and “the Baltic peninsula”… He confuses Baltic and Balkan… No one corrected him, if they even noticed… If they even knew the difference…
Chuck Hagel was one of the biggest shills for the Clinton Administration wars against the Serbs. Of course, Serbia is in the Balkan Peninsula.
Updated Thu 6 Mar 2014, 1:36pm AEDT
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says he’s ordered an increase in NATO’s ‘air policing’ in the Baltic Peninsula [sic!] and in the training of Poland’s air force. Republican leaders are backing the president’s actions, but are calling for him to approve natural gas exports to Europe to reduce the EU’s reliance on Russian supplies.