November 27, 2004

The Empire Strikes Back

The Russians keep forgetting that they no longer have an empire. After openly supporting one of the presidential candidates in the Ukrainian election, they are taking exception to any other countries becoming involved in the situation. In fact, they are getting downright pissy about it.

They claim that the West is trying to drag the country illegally into its orbit. According to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, "In some European capitals there are some forces that are attempting to draw some new border lines across Europe. We are alarmed at attempts by certain governments to steer the situation in Ukraine away from a legal path. Especially when certain European capitals are declaring that they do not recognise the elections and that Ukraine has to be with the West."

Draw new borderlines across Europe? The only borderlines are international boundaries. Russia has no border surrounding the Ukraine. Gone are the days which led Winston Church to say, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." What Russia doesn't realise is that free countries freely associate themselves as they please. If Ukraine wants to associate itself with countries to the west, then what is that to do with Moscow? Why would it see any future in continuing as a Russian satellite with a Soviet-style dictatorship like it's neighbour to the north, Belarus?

Europe, for all the legitmate criticism that may be levelled at it, is a free association. Not one single country has been forced to join the EU. At this point, not one sovereign state is force to stay (which is better than situation in the US after 1860). And is it Britain or France or Spain that have even attempted to mediate in the current crisis? No, it is the presidents of Poland and Lithuania, former Eastern bloc Soviet client states.

The news media in the UK, always looking for a way to criticise GWB, has latched onto the refusal of the American adminstration to recognise the results of the election. They conclude that this means the Americans are meddling in Ukranian affairs and want it to become an American client state. Hardly. It is the business of governments to recognise or not legitimate foreign powers. The US and every other country will have to do diplomatic business with someone in the Ukraine. The Bush administration has never said that western-leaning Yushchenko won the election.

The Ukrainian parliament voted today to annul the results of the election and have another under the auspices of a new Election Commission. The parliamentary vote is not binding. I'm sure the Russians will declare it illegal as well.

Posted by david at November 27, 2004 07:27 PM | TrackBack

Ik ga totaal akkoord. Ware Thats, mijn oom altijd vertelde me dat. Ik houd van uw adviezen en ik zal vaker uw plaats voortaan bezoeken. Dank voor grote inhoud, houdt het goede werk. Ongelooflijk er zijn geen dergelijke goede plaatsen zoals van u. Als mijn bovengenoemde grootvader: het goede werk zal altijd appriciated zijn. Ten slotte zou ik willen toevoegen dat vele mensen niet aith akkoord zouden gaan dat het soort adviezen maar dont, harder houdt opgeeft! Hvis du vil have Christiania Mønten med hjem som souvenir, skal du spørge efter den når du handler i Fristaden. Hører du til den type der synes, at lokale valutaer er et spændende økonomisk eksperiment, opfordres du til at bruge Christiania Mønten i din hverdag.

Posted by: Grizzlie at December 6, 2004 12:34 AM
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