Tuesday, June 3, 2014

International Relations Shifting Sands – A Review

International Relations Shifting Sands – A Review
Syed Ali Mujtaba

International relations are like shifting sands and change is the order of the way global players behave with each other. The Gregorian calendar year 2014 has witnessed some interesting developments on global political front and points to the nature of the direction of the change.

The first is Crimea going to Russia, second Russia-Ukraine conflict, interference of Pax America in support of Ukraine against Russia, third growing influence of China in south china sea, increasing rivalry between Vietnam and China,  US pulling out from Afghanistan, Iran‘s nuclear dilemma, growing instability in Pakistan, the unanswered questions of Palestine and Kashmir.

Even though most of these developments are taking place in different regions of the world and may look like local bushfires, but if seen collectively, show an emergence of a new world order that is different from the one we all lived since the end of cold war in 1990.

Russia takes over Crimea

An interesting event took place in the then Soviet Union in 1954. Crimea that had been part of Russia historically was one fine day was handed over to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev, who had come to power after death of Joseph Stalin. Historians do not provide any reasonable explanation of Nikita Khrushchev’s generosity of handing over Crimea to Ukraine.

The agenda of the session of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which took place on 25 January 1954, contained a question about the delivery of the Crimean region to the structure of the Ukrainian SSR. The discussion of the question took only 15 minutes. The participants of the meeting approved the decree, and the region was given away to Ukraine for free.

Not a single protest was made; no one had any doubts about the decision. No one wondered how the population (presumably the Russian-speaking population) of Crimea would treat the decision.
It turned out that such important issues as the territorial movement of regions could be solved without any difficulties at all.

Since then Russia didn't accept the legitimacy of this decision; it held the view that the Crimean region had been delivered to Ukraine illegitimately. In the 2014, when the Ukraine- Crimea conflict flared up, secessionism gained ground and Crimea opted for  Russia. Russia intervened and conducted a referendum after which the 1954 decision was undone by the Russian President Vladimir Putin who took over Crimea, caring too hoots about the international relations.

This reminds about the first gulf war, when then Iraqi ruler Sadam Hussein took over Kuwait, and international forces was mustered by the US to undo the unjust occupation.
There seems to be no such move to undo the Crimea occupation by Russia.  This is significant development and can set a dangerous precedent elsewhere.

These ideas have to be developed further into a full length paper further for some suitable purpose.  Any takers of it please write to syedalimujtaba@yahoo.com

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