During the recent NATO summit, US President Joe Biden said that the West supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine. At the same time, he did not mention a very important detail. What did Biden prefer not to say? What mistake did Yushchenko and Yanukovych make regarding Crimea? How was it possible to leave Crimea as part of Ukraine? Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova asked these questions to Doctor of Political Sciences Alexander Mikhailenko.
"The NATO summit in Vilnius has become one of the most Russophobic ones. What are the main outcomes of the summit?"
"I would look at this summit from different points of view. In particular, Biden said at the summit that the West supported Ukraine because a solution to the problem should be based on the principle of territorial integrity. There is a lot of discussion going on about territorial integrity and Russia being the aggressor state. However, the real state of affairs is different.
"There is a principle of territorial integrity. It is enshrined in fundamental documents of international law, including the UN Charter. However, this principle is inextricably linked with another fundamental principle — the principle of self-determination of peoples.
"These principles cannot exist without one another. Biden said nothing at the summit about the self-determination of the Crimeans, even though he should have said something, because this aspect helps one understand the causes of the conflict and Ukraine's loss of subjectivity. Disrespect of the principle of self-determination triggers problems in relation to the principle of territorial integrity.
"Any conflict that exists now is related to territorial integrity and self-determination — for example, in Serbia. It's about the desire of certain political forces to push through their obsolete decisions, and they don't succeed at that.
Look at Crimea. Since 1991, when Ukraine became an independent state, Crimea was financed on a residual basis. Yushchenko was elected, he had to thank voters — the money from the Ukrainian budget went to the West. When Yanukovych won he sent money to Eastern Ukraine, to the Donbass. Crimea was always somewhere in the background. The peninsula was getting what was left in the budget of Ukraine. The Crimeans have had autonomy since 1991. Of course, they did not want to live in the state that was not supporting them.
"If living standards in Crimea had grown after 1991, the question of Crimea's secession from Ukraine would have never arisen.
"Thus, when Biden spoke about one principle at the NATO summit and did not mention the other one, it turns out that his statements were semi-true — they were beneficial only for the West. In order to understand the situation, one needs to consider it in its entirety. If there is no respect for human rights, if there is no economic development, then people will try to do something to live in a different formation.
"The West distorts the truth to make it beneficial for the West. This is due to inertia of their thinking. They still think that they are in charge, that the US is the exceptional supremacist state that everyone should listen and obey. This is far from being true."
NATO's Boeing P-8 Poseidon was circling above the easternmost point of Romania at the time of the missile strike on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol