Crimea – Cyprus Self-Determination: Universal Principle for Universal Implementation

Around ninety per cent of the inhabitants of Crimea are Russian-speaking, Russian-cultured and Russian-educated, and it would be strange if they did not vote for accession to a country that welcomes their kinship, empathy and loyalty. Moreover, in the March 2014 referendum on self-determination there was not “a single case of bloodshed in the run-up to the plebiscite, the free vote as to whether the population wished to accede to Russia or support the “status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine.” A request filed to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) by the government of Crimea to send representatives to monitor the referendum was turned down.
On March 16th, 2014, approximately 97 per cent of the 83 per cent voter turnout voted in favour of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to join the Russian Federation. Justice was delivered as the northern Black Sea peninsula has historically been under Russia but most importantly it is ethnically and linguistically overwhelmingly Russian in character.

In the years between 2009 and 2011 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regularly conducted quarterly polls measuring the wishes of the people of Crimea. Those UNDP polls showed a steady pro-Russia trend: between 65 to 70 per cent of the 1200 voters polled favoured union with the Russian Federation. The ‘undecided’ block of voters ranged between 16 to 20 per cent.
The last such poll taken by the UNDP, in the last quarter of 2011, resulted in 67 per cent in favour of joining Russia, 20 per cent undecided and only 14 per cent opposed to joining the Russian Federation (RF). Therefore, it becomes abundantly clear, that despite Western claims challenging the validity of the 2014 Crimean referendum, the region expressed freely its will to form part of the Russian Federation. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the Crimean people felt that their interests are better served under the flag of the RF.

In the years that followed European delegates have been visiting Crimea despite the Western ban. For example, eleven conservative parliamentarians from France, including National Assembly delegates and senators, travel to Crimea for three days in July 2016. Thierry Mariani, MP of the party "The Republicans" and a former transport minister serving in the government of then-president Nicolas Sarkozy, headed the mission. Mariani had visited Crimea with a similar delegation for the first time in 2015. The return of the French delegation to Crimea the following year has shown a genuine desire to talk to the local residents and ascertain on the spot how they nationally-politically determine themselves. Mariani expressed understanding for the enosis of the Crimean peninsula with the Russian Federation.

To be sure, the recurrence of the French delegation Crimea fact finding mission has also gone a long way to demolish the argument floating in the mainstream Western media that Crimea, and by extension Russia, are isolated from the ‘international community that stands united against the annexation by Russia’. Such claims, clearly, do not carry any credibility.

More recently, the Third World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in Yalta, Crimea, RF (20-22 April 2017). The annual WEF was institutionalized in the spring of 2015. The Yalta WEF success is amply reflected in its wide international attendance: four weeks ago about 200 foreign delegates, including MPs, MEPs, politicians and businessmen, from no less than forty-six countries flocked in Yalta turning a deaf ear to the unfair calls to block the Russian Federation and its efforts for international peace and prosperity through dialogue, engagement and cooperation. Interestingly, the 200 foreign delegates in Yalta equally defied Poroshenko’s decision to declare them persona non grata and his regime’s subsequent launch of penal code court proceedings against them in the Ukraine.

It is worth noting the two Cypriot delegations participation in the Third Yalta WEF. For the first time, an AKEL party and Citizens’ Alliance delegation accepted invitations and attended. The two Cypriot party delegations were headed by their respective leaders Andros Kyprianou and Yiorghos Lillikas.

The International Security Forum, reflecting the genuine will of the Cypriot people, expresses the wish that the two Cypriot leaders who wisely accepted the Yalta invitation be admonished by the braveness of the Crimean people to determine their own future by their own free will. Self-determination is at the heart of both the Cyprus question and Crimea’s enosis with Russia. The Cyprus problem, has been an issue rooted in the denial of the inalienable right self-determination to the Cypriots. This fundamental right was enshrined time and again in international law; remarkably in the Atlantic Charter (1941) as well as the UN Charter (1945). The Cyprus problem started at the end of WWII, when the UK, the colonial ruler, refused to cede the predominantly Greek island to Greece at the Paris Peace Conference (1945) despite implicit and explicit undertakings by Winston Churchill during the war that he would do so. The Greek Cypriots, who like the Russian Crimean have always formed 80 per cent of the territory’s in question population, signed a plebiscite (1950) declaring their will that the island be united with Greece. The 1950 Cypriot referendum produced an identical result to the Crimean referendum:
Ninety-seven per cent of the Crimean people voted in favour of union with Russia. Their will was duly accepted. Moscow justifiably re-admitted the Crimean peninsula to the bosom of the Russian national family. Ninety-six per cent of Cypriots signed in favour of union (Enosis) of Cyprus with Greece (1950) (http://www.hellas.org/cyprus/dimopsif.htm). Was the Cypriot will ever accepted by the powers that be? Has Cyprus, a predominantly Greek island of 3000 years of Hellenic history and culture ever been re-admitted to the body of the Hellenic Republic? If anything the wrong-footed, ill-conceived and ill-conducted endless and futile Cyprus talks seek to drive the island into the bosom of the Islamo-fascist regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan which muzzles descent and incarcerates its own Turkish dissidents let alone people of other ethnic, religious and linguistic background …