Crimean Vote A Foregone Outcome, But What Next?

To the surprise of no one, a majority in Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and its Parliament followed suit on Monday. The Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has been renamed as the State Council of the Republic of Crimea and legislators formally appealed to Russia to accept Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

In response, the US and European Union rejected the vote and EU foreign ministers met on Monday to discuss what concrete actions it would take in the coming days.

“If appeals to morality and values do not move you, America does indeed have vital interests in Ukraine, albeit indirect ones. As the world’s largest economy, military power and energy consumer, the United States reaps great benefits from global stability,” wrote Garry Kasparov, the famed chess master in an op-ed in the New York Daily News.

He added: “Failing to push back against Putin over Ukraine will also have far-reaching repercussions that cannot fail to affect American interests. A world where American security guarantees are worthless is a more dangerous place for all.”

The editorial board of London’s Daily Telegraph warned the Crimea crisis hold the potential to create more economic chaos.

“A standoff with Russia over Ukraine was, therefore, the last thing the world needed. Of course, economic considerations must be secondary to the higher purpose of defending international law. None the less, it is the interplay between politics and economics that makes this situation so dangerous and destabilising, transforming what would be a serious but containable crisis into something very much more disruptive. The West cannot afford another global slump any more than Mr Putin,” they write.

Kadri Liik of the European Council on Foreign Relations takes stock of the situation in Ukraine after the vote in Crimea.

“Not knowing Vladimir Putin’s strategy makes it hard for Europe and the West to come up with meaningful and workable responses. In a way, we are all speculating and trying to get a glimpse into Putin’s soul,” notes Liik.


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