Mr David Cameron the British Prime Minister is reported today as saying:
Russia has sought to annex Crimea. This is a flagrant breach of international law and something we will not recognise. This behaviour belongs to the Europe of the last century not this one. It cannot be ignored or we risk more serious problems in the future.
So it was very important that the European democracies represented here should send a strong and united message that Russia should face further consequences, and that is what we have done.
Lets review the recent events.
1. The elected President of Ukraine decides not to sign a trade association deal with the EU
2. He decides to accept a loan from Russia.
3. Protests break out on the streets of the Ukrainian capital by Ukrainians who see their future as being part of the EU
4. Senior officials and politicians from the West visit these protesters in Kiev, making clear their support
5. The protests turn increasingly violent. All over Ukraine government administrative buildings are seized.
6. A day after a compromise deal is signed between the elected President and the rioters, brokered by 3 EU countries, the rioters finally force the elected President from office and seize power. They break the terms of the agreement. Mr William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of Britain, merely says “events have moved on” when asked about what happened to this agreement.
7. There is incontestable evidence of the links between what the Western press immediately started to call the “new government” in Kiev and some rather questionable extreme nationalist elements.
8. The “new government” immediately rescinded a law allowing Russian to be used as the language of official business in Ukraine. (True. The “new President” didn’t sign it into law. But the mood expressed is clear).
9. The elected regional assembly in Crimea passed a resolution calling for Crimea to join Russia and organised a referendum. Contrary to some reports in the Western press, which echoed claims made by the “new government” in Kiev, about a Russian “invasion” no invasion took place. At most a few Russian soldiers who were in the peninsular legally provided security at key points before self-defence units were organised. (Though even this has not been conclusively proved by the media). Russian forces may have also been involved in limited actions containing Ukrainian military forces present on the peninsular.