March 18 marked the fifth anniversary of Moscow's annexation of Crimea. On March 17, in an interview with TV channel Ukraina, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that "Crimea will be returned to Ukraine, without haggling and behind-the-scenes agreements."
Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in his blog appearing in Echo of Moscow that the Crimean people's choice is irreversible.
According to Kosachev, Poroshenko's statement ignores the will of the Crimeans. "If Poroshenko had really, rather than at the level of primitive slogans, continued to consider [the Crimeans] as citizens of his country… he should have said something like 'we repent for the mistakes made by the former Ukrainian authorities in relation to you'," Kosachev wrote.
Below is Kosachev's article:
Konstantin Kosachev (Source: Ruspekh.ru)
Poroshenko's Rhetoric Ignores The Inhabitants Of Crimea
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"The President of Ukraine Poroshenko said that he intends to 'take back' Crimea with the help of reinforced sanctions pressure on Russia and that the international community will help Ukraine in this matter.
"In this statement, aside from the familiar geopolitics ('Ukraine is the victim of aggression, requiring the protection of the West'), there is a blatant Freudian slip – disregard for the inhabitants of Crimea.
"If Poroshenko had really, rather than at the level of primitive slogans, continued to consider them [the Crimeans] as citizens of his country, then he should have addressed himself exclusively to them. He should have said something like 'we repent for the mistakes made by the former Ukrainian authorities in relation to you', 'we guarantee on behalf of the current and future authorities of Ukraine that these mistakes will never be repeated', 'we promise to protect your rights to freedom of language, quality of education, honest interpretation of history, safe development and economic prosperity', 'we will protect the rights of all nationalities in Crimea',
'we will ensure the autonomy of Crimea and recognize your specific interests both inside and outside Ukraine', 'we will not allow radicalism and extremism in the Ukrainian policy towards Russia, your neighbor', 'we will take decisions, on a mutually acceptable basis, on problematic issues in interstate relations with Russia, including the preservation of the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol', and, finally, 'we will abandon any plans of accommodating, NATO forces and units in Crimea and its surroundings, including the waters of the Black and Azov seas..
"Something like this would have been at least an attempt to honestly address the root causes of the problems, which predetermined the choice of the Crimean people in 2014.
"Nothing similar was ever pronounced and will never be pronounced. Firstly, it's too late, the train has already left. But more importantly, for Poroshenko and his ilk, Crimea and Sevastopol, since 1954, were not a community of fellow citizens, but a peripheral territory, a backyard, inhabited not by people but by servants, nothing more. And, ever since 1991, these trends have only been strengthened.
"The choice of the Crimean people is, beyond any doubt, irreversible, and not because Russia behaved this way, and not because the West did not impose sanctions; but because this is the choice of the people and not of the servants. This is what Poroshenko and his ilk failed to understand with their servile brains capable only of making endless appeals to their owners, meaning their Western patrons and protectors."
Crimea is Russian (Source: Vk.com/politics_today)