Crimea and the many different views
Sovereignty conflicts like Crimea in which several international agents claim sovereign rights for different reasons over the same piece of land have a particular feature:
their solution seems to require a mutually exclusive relation amongst the agents because it is thought that the sovereignty over the third territory can be granted to only one of them. Indeed, sovereignty is often regarded as an absolute concept (that is to say, exclusive, and not shareable).
Crimea is a clear example of a zero-sum game, with many negative outcomes of different sorts (e.g. social struggle, tension in international relations, and threat to local and international peace). Thus, while these conflicts are in principle confined to specific areas and start with negative consequences primarily for the local population, they tend quickly to expand to the regional and—even—the international level (e.g. effects on international price of oil, arms trafficking, terrorism, war).
The post today includes articles from the media covering this territorial dispute. In all cases, although these sovereignty conflict has been and is object of study of many sciences—law, political sciences, international relations, only to name a few—these sciences do not share their developments and both different approaches and different languages were applied. Indeed, although multi and inter-disciplinary studies are promoted in speeches everywhere, it is more a nominal aim rather than an actual reality.
I realized that the answer was very simple. Some problems are never solved because most look for more problems, problems within a problem, or just simply give up or are so self-centered they think that problem will not affect them. Ergo, the answer came to me: some problems like Crimea are never solved because people (or their representatives) do not look for a solution.
The media coverage in recent times:
The Moscow Times
What the Russian Public Thinks of Victory Day (Op-ed)
“Crimea’s “return” to Russia a year earlier, perceived by the population as the reinstatement of the country’s greatness, was the primary reason for the soaring ratings. Still, the celebration of Victory Day against the backdrop of the international confrontation increased the necessity to rally around leaders, while the boycotting of the military parade by the leaders of Western countries further boosted the feeling of damaged pride.”
Crimean residents remain Ukraine nationals
“all nationals who were living in Crimea at the time of its annexation were and stile are Ukraine nationals.”
The Moscow Times
Most Russians Say They Are Unaffected and ‘Unworried’ by Western Sanctions — Poll
“Russia has been targeted by several waves of political and economic sanctions following its 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and support for separatist forces in southeastern Ukraine. In response, the Kremlin has imposed countermeasures including an import ban on certain foods from the European Union, the United States and other countries.”“Russians seem to have greeted the punitive economic measures with a collective shrug, with 68 percent of respondents saying they are “completely unworried” or “not too worried” about them.”
Mustafa Dzhemilev (Ukrainian president’s commissioner for the Crimean Tatar people)
“militarization has reached tremendous proportions. Children in kindergartens are dressed in military uniforms with St. George’s ribbons, they play military games, looking for intelligence officers, demining something. As I was told, they even make cakes in the form of tanks – it comes to such idiocy.In general, Russia views Crimea solely as a military base or, as they say, an “unsinkable aircraft carrier.”
There is practically no economy there. Russians are building strategic facilities, first of all, a huge highway “Tavrida” across the entire Crimea, destroying green plantations, cultural monuments, as well as causing damage to the environment.In terms of the number of troops, information is different. Numbers range from 60,000 to 80,000. But even if it is about 60,000 troops, then this is a huge number for such a small peninsula with an area of 27,000 square meters.”
The Moscow Times
Russia Rejects Court Ruling to Compensate Ukrainian Firms for Crimea Annexation
“The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled this week that Russia must pay 18 Ukrainian businesses and one private entity a reported $159 million for lost assets in the seizure of Crimea.”“The Russian Federation doesn’t recognize the aforementioned decision because the arbitration lacks jurisdiction in considering the case.”
Russia may explore Crimea gas resources
“Ukrainian media last month reported that Russia had seized some 7 billion cubic meters of natural gas from deposits around Crimea since the annexation of the peninsula in 2014. “Moscow is well aware that the offshore deposits which the gas is being stolen from are not related to Crimea, and sooner or later, it will have to bear responsibility for illegally appropriated property and compensate for the damage,” Ukrainian energy expert Mykhailo Honchar said.NATO estimates the oil and gas resources of the Crimean shelf at between 4 and 13 trillion cubic meters, which, the pact said, would have been instrumental in Ukraine’s drive towards energy independence from Russia.”
The Moscow Times: Putin Seeks Common Cause With Merkel Over Trump
“Berlin and Moscow have been at loggerheads since Russia’s annexation of Crimea four years ago, but they share a common interest in the Nordstream 2 pipeline project, which will allow Russia to export more natural gas to northern Europe.”
NOTE: This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, “Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty: International Law and Politics,” London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2020 (forthcoming)Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, “Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue,” London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.
NEXT POST: Crimea and the egalitarian shared sovereignty.
Thursday 20th February 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez