The referendum in Crimea is over, and the region is under Russian rule. The West has had much to say about the whole ordeal, ranging from threats of sanctions to threats of military action. Threats, no matter how empty, should have been avoided this entire time, especially by the United States. What flag is being flown by a nation that has nothing to do with the United States is none of their concern. The Eurozone should also be more focused on their own economic turmoil than the acquisition of Crimea by Russia in a democratic vote. The West has stated a great deal and finally,Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out in defense of his actions with powerful words for his Western counterparts.
Secretary of State John Kerry has told Putin that Russia had lost the Cold War and to get over it. The response to such a childish attack is difficult to witness. Unlike many of the Western politicians who are quick to speak, Putin had a much more calculated response. He says Russia is a key figure in 21st-century world politics and the nation also has interests that need to be protected and respected. The hypocrisy of many Western leaders while protecting national interest is not something that was ignored in Putin’s speech.
Russia was called out on breaking international law by a multitude of Western nations for its plans to annex Crimea. The fact that the West knows of international law is “better late than never,” according to Putin, who has previously commented on NATO and its allies making deals at the end of a barrel of a gun in order to assure their goals are met. In both the Crimean and Syrian incidents of recent times, Russia has refrained from resorting to military action or threats of military action. Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama has over and over again flexed military might in each of these crises. Some have called for the stripping of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize for his invasive war tactics and drone program and instead, grant Putin the prize as he has successfully stopped a war between Syria and NATO, as well as peacefully free Crimea from what Crimeans felt was a mistake in their national lines.
Putin had equally powerful words for the West on the stabs taken against him about acting civilized in the 21st century by reminding the United States of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq against the United Nation’s Security Council and the wishes of the United Nations as a whole. He reminds the United States and its allies of their actions in Kosovo and the loss of lives there. How there has been huge exception to anything NATO has done, but they are quick to denounce Russia for its choices in the world that have not cost lives in the millions like the United States has done.
Putin finished his historical speech with powerful words. Reminding that if one pushes “the spring” too hard, it will come back with equal force. The indirect threat to Western powers should remind them that they have not faced a standing army since World War II.
Opinion by Andy Diaz