China, India back President Putin in Crimean reunification with Russia

Nikolay Litovkin

Vladimir Putin stressed the support China showed during the UN Security Council meeting as the council sought to declare the Crimean referendum illegal. “We are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea,” Putin said. “We are grateful to the people of China, whose leadership sees the situation in Crimea in all its historical and political integrity. We highly appreciate India’s restraint and objectivity.”

China, India back President Putin in Crimean reunification with Russia

Moscow vetoed the resolution, while Beijing abstained.

This step wasn’t seen by mass media as clear support for the Crimean reunification and even deemed as a ‘slap in the face’ for Russia by Western diplomats.

Yet, the step by Beijing was considered as clever and politically far-seeing.

China wasn’t able to veto the resolution on Crimea alongside Russia as it has its own domestic issues like Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan. But it has now deepened its relations with Moscow and gained a potential ally for the future when Beijing will have to make hard political decisions.

India also remembers the support Moscow showed in 1975 when New Delhi had the same situation with Sikkim, a landlocked state located in the Himalayan Mountains. At that time India was under heavy diplomatic pressure from the West, especially from the United States.

Sikkim became 22nd state of India, when 97.5 % of residents voted in favor of reunification with New Delhi.

Argentine leader Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner also showed her support for the Russian Federation recalling that “the UN Charter stipulates the right of people to self-determination, which means that this rule should be applied to all countries without any exception”.

She compared the situation in Crimea with the one around the Falkland Islands, where a referendum was also held a year ago. The UN did not question the legality of the vote at that time, Kirchner reminded.

The situation around the Falkland Islands led to a war between the United Kingdom and Argentina in 1982. The UK saw it as an invasion of territory that has been British also since the 19th century. Buenos Aires lost in the conflict, diplomatic relations between the two were restored only seven years later in 1989 .

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