by David Stepanyan
Any comparison of Crimea and Kosovo is absolutely unjustified, given that Russia just tries to impose the thesis of self-determination of the 'Crimean people' speculating on the UN Statute. The statement came from Vladimir Kupriy, the Head of the Working Group, Eastern Partnership Ukrainian National Platform, in an online interview with ArmInfo.
"Actually, there is no 'Crimean people' as such. There is population of the administrative territorial unit with a status of autonomy. The population in Crimea consists of ethnic groups: Russians, Ukrainians, the Crimean Tatars. Speaking of the political and legal aspect, it is the native-born population of Crimea (Crimean Tatars, Crimchaks -as a separate and very small ethnic group) that can claim self-determination within the borders of the Crimean peninsula. It is their original land," he said. In this light, the expert said, the Russians and Ukrainians living in Crimea have no right to claim self- determination and much less independence. According to him, it will be very hard to understand Crimea's nature of autonomy, if it becomes a subject of the Russian Federation. There are simply no reasons for that.
In addition, the concept "Russian-speaking population" as a subject claiming autonomy does not stand up to criticism.
"One should not forget that the Russian language is used also by some ethnic Ukrainians who consider it as their language of communication. Following Russia's logic, it can claim also the territories in some European countries having Russian-speaking ethnic groups. Then, Great Britain can also claim all the territories where English is an official language, including the USA. It is absurd," he said.
Joint online press conference of experts from various countries for Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian mass media on the relevant problems are organized within the project "Expansion of knowledge of Armenians and Azerbaijanis about each other and confidence building through first-hand information". The project of the "Region" Research Center (Armenia) and Peace and Democracy Institute (Azerbaijan) is supported by the British Embassies in Armenia and Azerbaijan. -m-