Territorial disputes: Crimea (Part 3) [Post 68]

Crimea as a territorial dispute has many issues at stake. Potentially, many remedies could address the difference. The previous post presented an article that summarises the current situation and its domestic, regional and international implications.

Today’s post centres the attention of one of these parties: people. What do Crimean want?

Most of the current academic and non-academic centre the attention on the 2014 referendum and its legitimacy and legality. However, there is earlier evidence about what people may have wanted. It is for that reason there are references to the 1991 referendum and the 1994 poll leading up to the events in 2014.

Nine out of fifteen Republics of former the USSR participated in the Soviet Union Referendum on 17thMarch 1991. Voting results in the territory of Crimea were included in the general Ukrainian results. In Crimea (without Sevastopol city) 1 085 570 people (87,6 %) out of 1 239 092 people (turnout – 79,3 %) participated in the referendum and voted for the preservation of the Soviet Union.

 Crimean president Yuriy Meshkov in 1994 openly called for independence. Seventy percent of the peninsula’s population voted in favor of greater autonomy in a March 1994 referendum (technically, it was a poll).

In 2014 a referendum with 83.10% voter turnout confirmed by 96.77% Crimeans were in favour of reunifying Crimea with Russia. The referendum voters to choose whether to reunify “Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation” or to restore “the 1992 Crimea constitution and the status of Crimea as part of Ukraine.”

Since then, the 2014 referendum has been questioned.

The UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 under the heading “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” states that the UN:

“Calls upon all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of

Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on the basis of the above-mentioned referendum and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status.”

Underscores that the referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on 16 March 2014, having no validity, cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the city of Sevastopol.”

Voter turnout in the Russian presidential election in the Crimea on March 18, 2018 was 42% of voters.

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