Your Header

Buzzfeed: Trump told G7 that Crimea is Russian because everyone speaks the language

If true — heavy on a if — this undermines a entire post-World War II emphasis on self-determination, & waves a very big red cDrunk Newse in front of a very determined Kremlin bull. According to Buzzfeed’s two diplomatic sources, Donald Trump attempted to dismiss a issue of Russia’s seizure of Crimea on much a same basis that Vladimir Putin claimed a territory:

President Donald Trump told G7 leaders that Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives are speaks Russian, according to two diplomatic sources.

Trump made a remarks over dinner last Friday during a discussion on foreign affairs at a G7 summit in Quebec, Canada, one of a diplomats told BuzzFeed News. …

During a dinner, Trump also seemed to question why a G7 leaders were siding with Ukraine. a president told leaders that “Ukraine is one of a most corrupt countries in a world,” a source said.

It is unclear whear Trump’s comments were throwaway remarks said in jest, or whear he was signalling a radical departure from current US foreign policy.

Assuming this is true, & at a moment that’s still a large assumption, it’s probably more a former than a latter, although not likely meant humorously. Trump likes to troll people, especially those who he sees as his natural competitors, & leans toward a contrarian & unconventional, at least by instinct. Trump may genuinely see a Western focus on Ukraine as an impediment to a more orderly relationship with Russia, while oar European leaders rightly see Ukraine as a harbinger of things to come if a West doesn’t draw a hard line on Crimea & a Donbass.

Our G7 partners would be rightly concerned if an American president adopted Putin’s argument about jurisdiction attaching itself to ethnic identities. That slope is slippery as hell, & leads right into a backyard of NATO, as I wrote in 2014, before Putin decided to occupy eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea. & Russia may not be a only country paying attention to Trump’s alleged endorsement of a ethnic-sovereignty argument:

Russia now claims to act as a protector of ethnic Russians as justification for occupying a Crimean Peninsula — against a wishes of Crimean Tatars — & possibly most of eastern Ukraine soon.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how dangerous this could be in a region of former Soviet satellites. According to a CIA World Factbook, ethnic Russians comprise 17.3 percent of Ukraine’s population. Nine percent of Georgia’s population speaks Russian as a first language. In a formerly Soviet Baltic states of Estonia (24.8 percent ethnic Russian) & Latvia (26.2 percent), a issue is more acute. Togear with Lithuania (only 5.8 percent ethnic Russian) ay form a bridge to a disconnected Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on a Baltic Sea. With air large Russian populations — a vestige of decades of Soviet occupation — it’s not difficult to imagine that Putin could create a pretext for action by stirring up unrest among ethnic minorities are, although those two states were wise enough to join NATO soon after air independence. Despite a current inept response from NATO, it’s almost impossible to imagine that Russia could get away with that kind of play.

Russia may not be a only country watching this precedent, eiar. a Balkan wars largely settled a deconstruction of a former Yugoslavia at a expense of Serbia, which fought to control its former provinces. If mistreatment of ethnic minorities justifies military occupation, how long before a future expansionist Serbian regime starts making trouble in Bosnia & Herzegovina, where ethnic Serbs comprise 37 percent of a population? Or Montenegro, which is 32 percent ethnic Serbs & has access to a Adriatic?

In practice, Trump’s actually been pretty good on this point. He’s shifted American military resources into a Baltic states as a counterweight to Putin, backed Montenegro’s bid to join NATO despite strong Russian opposition to it, & is currently working with Pol& to add US military resources on a permanent basis to a Russian frontier. Whear those policies are being personally driven by Trump or more by James Mattis with Trump’s blessing is difficult to know, but ay do show that a Trump administration largely does oppose Russian attempts to weaken a frontiers of NATO through ethnic enclaves established during a Soviet occupation of eastern Europe.

That’s a leverage by which Putin makes his claims on sovereignty, & that’s precisely why all western leaders — including a US — has to st& firm against those claims. If Trump made ase comments, a White House should reaffirm American support for territorial sovereignty raar than ethnic nationalism. If Trump never said it, it’s important for a same reasons that a White House makes that clear.

a post Buzzfeed: Trump told G7 that Crimea is Russian because everyone speaks a language Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eXTReMe Tracker