Crimea Votes Overwhelmingly to Rejoin Mother Russia
Updates from media reports
(Note; Pre Kennedy was ready for a nuclear war with Russia when in 1962 Moscow installed missiles in Cuba .Since centuries Russia Mediterranean fleet is anchored at the Sevastopol harbor .In September last year ,Putin saw off Obama in Syria where Russia has a naval base at Tartus .Loss of Sevastopol and Tartus will upset the strategic MAD equation)
It is understood that Russia and china have sold some of the US securities as a counter to US threat of sanctions.US GDP is $16 trillion and debt is 17 trillion. Only purchase of securities is keeping US Dollar afloat )
A day after a West contested referendum, legislators in Crimea moved swiftly on Monday to begin the process of splitting from Ukraine, with the regional Parliament declaring that Crimea is an independent state, with special status for the city of Sevastopol.
While the ballot on Sunday has been rejected in the West and by the government in Kiev, the legislators asserted that the laws of Ukraine no longer applied to Crimea and that state funds and all other state property of Ukraine in Crimea had been transferred to the new state. They also announced that the Ukrainian authorities had no power in Crimea.
The Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has been renamed the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, and legislators formally appealed to Russia to accept Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
As tensions mounted over Russia’s next moves, the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev approved a presidential decree authorizing the call-up of 20,000 reservists to the armed forces and another 20,000 to a newly formed national guard.
But European leaders meeting in Brussels made clear that they were not considering a military response. “We are not looking at military options here, this is not about a Crimean war,” Foreign Secretary William Hague of Britain said in a radio interview.
The referendum — in which 96.77 percent of voters supported breaking from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation — was greeted as a triumph in Moscow on Monday, and lawmakers there promised to move quickly to adopt legislation to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation. “Crimea returns to Russia!” a headline in Komsomolskaya Pravda said, while Nezavisimaya Gazeta declared that “Kiev lost Crimea.”
(Note; Perhaps only Crimean Tatars did not come out to vote with over 80% casting the votes)
A member of Parliament announced that President Vladimir V. Putin would deliver an address to lawmakers on the situation in Crimea on Tuesday. Mr. Putin told President Obama on Sunday that the vote was legal and cited the independence of Kosovo — which Russia has not recognized — as the precedent for Crimea’s secession, the Kremlin said in a statement.
“The referendum was organized in such a way as to guarantee Crimea’s population the possibility to freely express their will and exercise their right to self-determination,” the Kremlin’s statement on the latest of a series of conversations between the two leaders said.
Mr. Putin also continued to raise the issue of violence and protests in other parts of Ukraine, which have stoked fears that Russia could move forces beyond Crimea. He told Mr. Obama that “the current authorities in Kiev have so far failed to demonstrate the ability and desire to rein in the ultranationalist and radical groups that are destabilizing the situation in the country and terrorizing ordinary people, including the Russian-speaking population and Russia’s compatriots,” the Kremlin statement said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry published a lengthy statement on Monday outlining its proposals for resolving Ukraine’s political crisis, saying that the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, had presented them to his counterparts in Europe and the United States a week ago.
The proposals — including the recognition of Crimea’s right “to determine its own destiny” — contradicted many American, European and Ukrainian positions, making it unlikely that Russia would win broad diplomatic support, even though it endorsed the creation of a “contact group” of diplomats to mediate.
Crimean parliament formally applies to join Russia
(In 2003 , 98% of speakers on BBC supported US-UK led illegal invasion of Iraq. It was the worst broadcaster of all western corporate/Govt channels .On US channels, 90% speakers , mostly connected with military-industry complex egged on favouring the barbaric invasion and brutal occupation which has devastated Iraq and almost 1.5 million Iraqis have died )
Below for dates etc and numbers
Crimea's parliament has formally declared independence from Ukraine and asked to join the Russian Federation.
It follows Sunday's controversial referendum which officials say overwhelmingly backed leaving Ukraine.
The government in Kiev has said it will not recognise the results. The US and EU say the vote was illegal and have vowed to impose sanctions on Moscow.
The Crimean peninsula has been under the control of pro-Russia forces since late February.
Moscow says the troops are pro-Russian self-defence forces and not under its direct control.
The crisis follows the ousting of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February, following months of street protests and deadly clashes.
Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called the vote "a circus performance" which had been backed up by "21,000 Russian troops, who with their guns are trying to prove the legality of the referendum".
According to the declaration approved by Crimean MPs, the region:
becomes an independent state and applies to formally join Russia, with some autonomy
will adopt the Russia rouble as its currency within a month will move to Moscow time (GMT+4 and two hours ahead of Kiev time) on 30 March will offer Crimean soldiers the chance to join Russian military The vote was boycotted by many among Crimea's minority Ukrainian and Tatar population, and the election process has been widely criticised.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev has formally approved the partial mobilisation of 40,000 reservists, in response to what it called the "war-time situation".
Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov described the referendum as a "great farce" which "will never be recognised either by Ukraine or by the civilised world".
According to the vote in Crimea's parliament on Monday, Ukrainian laws now no longer apply in the region and all Ukrainian state property belongs to an independent Crimea.
The region will adopt the Russian currency, the rouble, and will move to Moscow time - two hours ahead - by the end of March.
The document approved by MPs also appealed to "all countries of the world to recognise it as an independent state".
The Crimean peninsula, which borders Ukraine and Russia, has been under the control of pro-Russian armed forces since late February.
Russia officially insists the troops are not under its command but are pro-Russia self defence forces. Kiev says Crimea - which has a majority ethnic Russian population - is under military occupation.
The referendum on breaking from Ukraine and joining Russia was called by the Crimean parliament in early March, with voters asked to choose between joining Russia, or having greater autonomy within Ukraine.
There was no option for those who wanted the constitutional arrangements to remain unchanged.
Daniel Sandford reports from Crimea: ''Wild scenes in Simferopol''
Ukraine's chief electoral official, Mikhail Malyshev, said the vote was nearly 97% in favour of joining the Russian Federation, with a turnout of 83%.
But Crimea's Tatar population - about 12% of the population - said they would boycott the vote, fearing their lives would be worse under the Kremlin.
The Tatars were deported to Central Asia by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1944. They were only able to return with the fall of the Soviet Union and many want to remain in Ukraine.
Many ethnic Ukrainians - who make up 24% of the population - also said they would not vote.
21 Nov 2013: President Viktor Yanukovych abandons an EU deal
Dec: Pro-EU protesters occupy Kiev city hall and Independence Square
20-21 Feb 2014: At least 88 people killed in Kiev clashes
22 Feb: Mr Yanukovych flees; parliament removes him and calls election
27-28 Feb: Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in Crimea
6 Mar: Crimea's parliament votes to join Russia
16 Mar: Crimea voters choose to secede in disputed referendum
17 Mar: Crimean parliament declares independence and formally applies to join Russia
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are discussing the bloc's response, including imposing a visa ban and an asset freeze against a number of Russian officials.
The bloc has already suspended talks on an economic pact with Russia and an easing of visa restrictions.
Speaking in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the "so-called referendum" was "illegal under the constitution of Ukraine and under international law".
"I call upon Russia yet again to meet with Ukrainian leaders and to start a dialogue with them, and to try to move to de-escalation, please, as quickly as possible. We've seen no evidence of that," she told reporters.
She said the EU "can't simply sit back and say this situation can be allowed to happen", but that ministers needed to think carefully about what their response should be.
The White House has described Russia's actions in Crimea as "dangerous and destabilizing", and said the international community would not recognise the results of a poll "administered under threats of violence".
US President Barack Obama has warned Moscow that Washington is also ready to impose "costs" over its actions in
Below Click for write up and map of Crimea
A hardhitting piece by my friend Pepe ,
THE ROVING EYE
Russia 1, Regime Changers 0
By Pepe Escobar
AsiaTimes 17 March 2014.
Let's cut to the chase - short and sweet.
1. The Obama administration's "strategic" gambit to subcontract the State Department's "Khaganate of Nulands" to extricate Ukraine from the Russian sphere of influence - and ultimately annex it to NATO - by instrumentalizing a coalition of willing neo-nazis and fascists with a central bank veneer (prime minister "Yats"), is in utter shambles.
2. Moscow's counterpunch was to prevent in Crimea - as intercepted by Russian intelligence - a planned replay of the putsch in Kiev. The referendum in Crimea - 85% of turnout, roughly 93% voting for re-joining Russia, according to exit polls - is a done deal, as much as the oh-so-democratic European Union (EU) keeps threatening to punish people in Crimea for exercising their basic democratic rights. (By the way, when the US got Kosovo to secede from Serbia, Serbians were offered no referendum).
3. The main rationale for the whole US "strategic" advance - to have their proxies, the regime changers in Kiev, cancel the agreement for the Russian naval base in Sevastopol - is up in smoke. Moscow remains present in the Black Sea and with full access to the Eastern Mediterranean.
And the rest is blah blah blah.
All aboard the Finland station
The US State Department has practically agreed to a federal and in fact Finlandized Ukraine  which, by the way, is the solution being proposed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov right from the start, as this Russian white paper attests. US Secretary of State John Kerry - as when Moscow saved the "red line" Obama administration from bombing Syria - will go on overdrive to steal all the credit from the Russians. US corporate media will duly buy it, but not independents such as Moon of Alabama. 
This - sensible - road map implies, among other crucial points; strong autonomous regions; Russian reinstated as an official language, alongside Ukrainian; and most of all political/military neutrality, that is, Finlandization. To get there will be the mission of a support group - once again, proposed by Moscow from the start - with the US, EU and Russia as members.
All that finally sanctified by a UN Security Council resolution (true, it could go spectacularly wrong, and most of all sabotaged by the "West".) And all that, as well, without Moscow having to officially recognize the regime changers in Kiev. In a nutshell; Moscow called Washington's bluff - and won.
So after all that barrage of ominous threats including everyone from Obama, Kerry and assorted neo-con bomb-firsters down to minions such as Cameron, Hague and Fabius, the meat of the matter is that the Obama administration concluded it would not risk a nuclear war with Russia for the Khaganate of Nulands - especially after Moscow made it known, discreetly, it would create the conditions for eastern and southern Ukraine to also secede.
Sweden, for instance, proposed an arms embargo on sales to Moscow. Paris took a quick glance at its industrial-military complex interests and immediately said no. Only the brain dead entertain the notion Paris and Berlin are willing to jeopardize their trade relations with Russia. As well as the notion that Beijing would ever join sanctions against fellow Group of 20, BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization member Russia just because what they perceive as an increasingly irrational - and dangerous - Washington said so.
And yet, Western hysteria of course will persist unabated. In the US, where it matters, the meme of the subsequent days will be, inevitably, who lost Syria and who lost Ukraine.
Here's the record. Dubya launched two wars. He (miserably) lost both.
Obama attempted to launch two wars (Syria and Ukraine). He - lucky for him - lost both even at the "attempt" stage. Assorted neo-cons and the whole exceptionalist brigade are predictably livid. Expect the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal to go ballistic. And expect US ambassador to the UN Samantha "R2P" Power to wish she were Sinead O'Connor singing Nothing Compares to You.
It's a gas, gas, gas, not!
The Kiev regime-changers are already announcing their intentions, as in Right Sector capo and confirmed neo-nazi Dmytro Yarosh saying, "… Russia makes money sending its oil through our pipelines to the West. We will destroy these pipelines and deprive our enemy of its source of income."
That's a brilliant strategy straight from the Khaganate of Nulands playbook. So homes and the whole industrial base in Ukraine should be out of (cheap, discounted) gas, not to mention great swathes of Germany, so the neo-nazis can claim "victory". With friends like these …
Gazprom's executives are not exactly raising an eyebrow. Russia is already shipping roughly half of its gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine, and after South Stream is completed in 2015, that percentage will increase (EU "sanctions" against South Stream are just empty rhetoric.)
The regime changers will be trying to wreak havoc in other fronts as well. The new Ukrainian parliament has voted to assemble a 60,000-strong National Guard crammed with "activists". Guess who will be in charge; the new security chief, Andriy Parubiy, one of the founders of the neo-nazi Social-National Party. And his deputy happens to be none other than Yarosh, the leader of the paramilitary Right Sector. Feel free to add your own custom-made Hitlerian metaphors - even as the risk persists of Ukraine breaking apart. Which is not necessarily a bad deal. Let the "democratic" EU pay Ukraine's gas bills.
1. Lavrov, Kerry agree to work on constitutional reform in Ukraine: Russian ministry, Reuters, March 16, 2014.
2. Ukraine: U.S. Takes Off-Ramp, Agrees To Russian Demands, Moon of Alabama, March 16, 2014.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ukraine: U.S. Takes Off-Ramp, Agrees To Russian Demands
March 16, 2014
There was another phone call today between Secretary of State Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. The call came after a strategy meeting on Ukraine in the White House. During the call Kerry agreed to Russian demands for a federalization of the Ukraine in which the federal states will have a strong autonomy against a central government in a finlandized Ukraine. Putin had offered this "off-ramp" from the escalation and Obama has taken it.
The Russian announcement:
(Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed on Sunday to seek a solution to crisis in Ukraine by pushing for constitutional reforms there, the Russian foreign ministry said.
It did not go into details on the kind of reforms needed except to say they should come "in a generally acceptable form and while taking into the account the interests of all regions of Ukraine".
"Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov and John Kerry agreed to continue work to find a resolution on Ukraine through a speedy launch of constitutional reform with the support of international community," the ministry said in a statement.
The idea of "constitutional reform" and the "interests of all regions" is from the Russians as documented in this Russian" non-paper".
The non-paper describes the process of getting to a new Ukrainian constitution and sets some parameters for it. Russian will be again official language next to Ukraine, the regions will have high autonomy, there will be no interferences in church affairs and the Ukraine will stay politically and militarily neutral. Any autonomy decision by the Crimea would be accepted. This all would be guaranteed by a "Support Group for Ukraine" consisting of the US, EU and Russia and would be cemented in an UN Security Council resolution.
It seems that Kerry and Obama have largely accepted these parameters. They are now, of course, selling this solution as their own which is, as the "non-paper" proves, inconsistent with the reality.
Here is Kerry now suddenly "urging Russia" to accept the conditions Russia had demanded and which Kerry never mentioned before:
Secretary of State John Kerry called on Moscow to return its troops in Crimea to their bases, pull back forces from the Ukraine border, halt incitement in eastern Ukraine and support the political reforms in Ukraine that would protect ethnic Russians, Russian speakers and others in the former Soviet Republic that Russia says it is concerned about.
In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, their second since unsuccessful face-to-face talks on Friday in London, Kerryurged Russia "to support efforts by Ukrainians across the spectrum to address power sharing and decentralization through a constitutional reform process that is broadly inclusive and protects the rights of minorities," the State Department said.
Obama has given up. His empty threats had now worked and he now has largely accepted the Russian conditions for the way out of the crisis.
The U.S. plot to snatch the Ukraine from Russia and to integrate it into NATO and the EU seems to have failed. Russia taking Crimea and having 93% of the voters there agree to join Russia has made the main objective of the U.S. plans, to kick the Russians out of Sevastopol and thereby out of the Middle East, impossible.
The Russian (non public) threat to also immediately take the eastern and southern provinces from the Ukraine has pushed the U.S. into agreeing to the Russian conditions mentioned above. The only alternative to that would be a military confrontation which the U.S. and Europeans are not willing to risk. Despite the anti-Russian campaign in the media a majority of U.S. people as well as EU folks are against any such confrontation. In the end the U.S. never held the cards it needed to win this game.
Should all go well and a new Ukrainian constitution fit the Russian conditions the "west" may in the future well be allowed to pay for the monthly bills Gazprom will keep sending to Kiev.
It will take some time to implement all of this. What dirty tricks will the neocons in Washington now try to prevent this peaceful outcome?
Posted on March 16, 2014 at 02:34 PM |