Moscow, Russia. The recent interview of Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin allowed the leader of the largest nation on earth to fairly tell his side of the story of how Crimea joined the Russian Federation, a process daily misrepresented and exploited by Western political interests for their own twisted priorities.
Responding to western charges of Crimean “occupation, facts show the so-called “annexation” of Crimea, a peninsula in the Black Sea that was historically part of Russia and that even after the Soviet break-up hosted a major Russian naval base at Sevastopol, Putin’s account has radically deviated from what Americans have been told daily for 3 years now nonstop.
When Stone asked about the “annexation,” Putin responded: “We were not the ones to annex Crimea. The citizens of Crimea decided to join Russia. The legitimate parliament of Crimea, which was elected based on the Ukrainian legislation, announced a referendum. The Parliament, by an overwhelming majority, voted to join Russia.
“The coup d’etat in Ukraine was accompanied by a surge in violence. And there was even the threat that violence would be perpetrated by nationalists against Crimea, against those who consider themselves to be Russian and who think Russian is their mother language. And people got concerned, they were preoccupied with their own safety.
“According to the corresponding international agreement with Ukraine, we had a right to have 20,000 people at our military base in the Crimea. We had to facilitate the work of the Parliament of Crimea, the representative government body, in order for this Parliament to be able to assemble and effect actions in accordance with the law.
“The people had to feel they were safe. Yes, we created conditions for people to go to polling stations, but we did not engage in any hostilities. More than 90 per cent of the Crimean population turned out, they voted, and once the ballot was cast, the Crimean Parliament, based on the outcome of the referendum, addressed the Russian parliament, asking to incorporate it into the Russian Federation.
“Moreover, Ukraine lost the territory not due to Russia’s position but due to the position assumed by those who are living in Crimea. These people didn’t want to live under the banner of nationalists.”
American film director Oliver Stone challenged some of Putin’s concerns that Ukraine might have turned the Russian naval base over to NATO. “Even if NATO made an agreement with Ukraine, I still don’t see a threat to Russia with the new weaponry,” Stone said.
Putin responded: “I see a threat. The threat consists in the fact that once NATO comes to this or that country, the political leadership of that country as a whole, along with its population, cannot influence the decisions NATO takes, including the decisions related to stationing the military infrastructure. Even very sensitive weapons systems can be deployed. I’m also talking about the anti-ballistic missile systems.”
The Russian President pointed out that NATO, the main stream media and EU members have used the Crimean referendum as a reason to push poor relations between Russia and the West. Putin remains convinced eventually, all will understand it is not Russia that is a threat to peace in global affairs.
Tags: 'Russian threat'; American aggression; anti-Russian campaign; anti-Russian policy; anti-Russian sanctions; Crimea; Crimea's recognition; Crimean referendum; Crimean reunification; NATO buildup; Russian diplomacy