Disinfo: The West showed double standards with its treatment of Kosovo and Crimea

Summary

Crimea returned to Russia by the will of its people, and the West treats the case of Crimea and Kosovo differently.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative drawing parallels between the Kosovo independence movement and Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. The claim was neither critically challenged nor counterbalanced in the article.

International recognition of Kosovar statehood came only after the region had been ravaged by a bloody civil war, which Western countries stopped. This was followed by a decade of international administration and status negotiations. In 2008, the EU Council stressed that, given the 1990s civil conflict and protracted international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case. By contrast, there was no war in Ukraine until Russian military aggression (see ICC report here).

Negotiations on Kosovo's status lasted 10 years. The time period between Russia's military operation and annexation of Crimea was 20 days.

Unlike Kosovo, Crimea was annexed by a third state (Russia), following an illegitimate referendum which was held at gunpoint and featured no recognised election observers. Russian authorities actively advanced the narrative of Ukrainian far-right activists terrorising ethnic Russians, while Russia proactively saved Crimeans from "terrorists and extremists", the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia said.

Human rights missions visiting Ukraine in 2014 did not find evidence of discrimination against or danger to the Russian minority.

According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated the international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.

See similar cases of double standards in Western attituded on status of Kosovo and Crimes, that Kosovo and Crimea's status recognition by the West shows double standards, and that Crimean referendum was the will of the Crimeans while Kosovo was an outside intervention.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Kosovo, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Kosovo, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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