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Referenda as a global practice – KP.RU

The Western community is making an incredible effort to present the referendums as something unprecedented.  However, it is not

The Western community is making an incredible effort to present the referendums as something unprecedented. However, it is not

A photo: REUTERS

On the eve of the referenda in LPR, DPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions the leading Western states deliberately refused to recognize their results, declaring the illegality of the procedures and their contradiction to international law.

The Western community is making an incredible effort to present the referendums as something unprecedented. However, it is not. Modern and recent history knows many examples of holding both referendums on the independence of individual territories, and on their entry into other states.

Often such referendums were held against the will of the states that included these territories at the time of the referenda. And in a significant part of such cases, the results were recognized by Western countries, and in some cases, the procedures themselves were initiated and actively supported by the West.

Let’s give some examples. Indicative is texas history, which first declared its independence from Mexico, and then was admitted to the United States. There was not even a referendum, as such. The decision on independence from Mexico was made in 1836 at a meeting of representatives of American settlers. By this time, Texas was already at war with Mexico.

In 1957 Saarland became part of Germany. This story is interesting because the inhabitants of the Saar in a referendum in 1955 refused the status of an independent state, which served as the basis for the return of this territory to Germany.

In 1990 and in 1991 were part of Yugoslavia at that time Slovenia and Croatia contrary to and against the will of Yugoslavia held referendums on independence, actively supported by the NATO countries.

In 1991 independence referendums were held in some republics of the USSR (Estonian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Moldavian, Turkmen, Armenian and Azerbaijani). All referendums were held against the will of the authorities and the people of the Soviet Union. Prior to that, at the all-Union referendum, the majority of citizens of the USSR voted for the preservation of the Soviet Union. At the same time, which is typical, in the RSFSR and the Ukrainian SSR, approximately the same number of citizens spoke out for the preservation of the Union – about 70 percent. Nevertheless, the results of the republican referendums on secession from the Union, which contradicted both the laws of the USSR and the decision of the Soviet people to preserve a single country, were recognized by Western countries, and the Soviet Union was collapsed.

But the most resonant example was the “Kosovo precedent”. The decision to withdraw the autonomous province of Kosovo from Yugoslavia was made against the will of the Yugoslav state. Serbia to this day does not recognize the fact of Kosovo’s withdrawal. However, this did not prevent Western countries from recognizing the independence of Kosovo. And in 2010, the international court of the UN issued an advisory decision that the declaration of independence of the region does not violate international law.

All these, as well as many other examples, show that holding referendums on independence and joining territories to other states is a fairly common practice in the world. And the attempt to present the referendums in the LPR, DPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson region as unprecedented is nothing but a manifestation of the policy of double standards.

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