09:06 GMT +3 hours24 May 2016
Live
Regions of Russia. Crimea

Ukraine Should Never Have Had Crimea - Austrian Presidential Candidate

© Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
Europe
Get short URL
156760564

The Austrian Party of Freedom Candidate for the country’s President Norbert Hofer said in an interview with Die Presse that Crimea should never have been handed over to Ukraine and that it’s now high time for the West to begin lifting sanctions on Russia.

“The major mistake was done very long time ago, when announcement that Crimea was no longer Russian made,” Hofer said, referring to 1954 cession of the peninsula from then-Soviet Russia to the Ukraine Soviet Republic.

According to Hofer, an internationally controlled referendum on Crimea’s national self-determination should have been carried out shortly after the USSR dissolution in 1991.

The presidential candidate noted there was a particular lack of international observers at the 2014 Crimea referendum. Nonetheless, he said the vote results would remain the same if all Western standards were respected at the time.

“The majority [of the Crimean population] would have voted for Russia,” he asserted, adding that the referendum on self-determination should have also been held in eastern regions of Ukraine.

Despite Hofer’s assertion that Crimea reunification with Russia was in violation of international laws, he stressed that the West will “have to become more pragmatic at some point,” and gradually lift anti-Moscow sanctions.

“It’s impossible to keep prolonging those sanctions forever,” the politician said, noting that such a situation adversely affects both Russia and Austria.

On March 16, 2014, some 96 percent of Crimean people chose to rejoin Russia in a referendum.

Related:
Ankara's Position Toward Crimea Nonsensical – Turkish Crimean Tatar Leader
Wrong Train to Damascus: Will Erdogan Catch the Last Car?
Patriotic Parties Rights Violated in European Parliament - Belgian Lawmaker
Tags:
population, independence referendum, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
Community standardsDiscussion
Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
  • Сomment

All comments

  • cast235
    When Crimea was Ukrainian? It NEVER was. Ukraine was a HUB. A transit hub, because Crimea lack roads. Now with the new bridge, why use Ukraine?
    And NATO training radicals in Ukraine to take over Crimea? Oh well. NATO is always a coup winner. How many ex soviet states had a referendum? Berlin referendum? Who attended?
  • Korz53
    Yes; There needed to have had a referendum in Crimea in 1954 as well as in the 1990’s (besides as Crimea went to Soviet Ukraine not to Ukraine).
  • Marc Nonnenkamp
    The FPO leader of Austria is correct in this respect. In every case, borders should be moved to accommodate human beings, and not the other way around. Austria has a similar concern with respect to the South Tyrol, where a majority of the residents are German-speaking Austrians and members of the small Ladin community. Italians comprise roughly one quarter of the residents in the South Tyrol, there descendants having been moved there by the Italian government after Italy annexed the South Tyrol from Austria-Hungary in 1918. The list goes on - there are many such examples all over the world and over the course of many hundreds of years. Russia has yet another related concern in the eastern Ukraine, where many ethnic Russians, Russian-speakers and Russian Orthodox Christians live. The important thing in every such case is the absolute need for mutual respect, which is unfortunately so rare in the annals of human history. In the case of the Ukraine, the government in Kiev should respect the will of the inhabitants of the Donbass region. In the same way, the government in Russia must respect the free will of the people in the rest of the Ukraine.
  • Marc Nonnenkamp
    The FPO leader of Austria is correct in this respect. In every case, borders should be moved to accommodate human beings, and not the other way around. Austria has a similar concern with respect to the South Tyrol, where a majority of the residents are German-speaking Austrians and members of the small Ladin community. Italians comprise roughly one quarter of the residents in the South Tyrol, their descendants having been moved there by the Italian government after Italy annexed the South Tyrol from Austria-Hungary in 1918. The list goes on - there are many such examples all over the world and over the course of many hundreds of years. Russia has yet another related concern in the eastern Ukraine, where many ethnic Russians, Russian-speakers and Russian Orthodox Christians live. The important thing in every such case is the absolute need for mutual respect, which is unfortunately so rare in the annals of human history. In the case of the Ukraine, the government in Kiev should respect the will of the inhabitants of the Donbass region. In the same way, the government in Russia must respect the free will of the people in the rest of the Ukraine.
  • Dirk Ramsey
    Facts about Crimea, it has never lawfully been part of Ukraine.
    Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire in 1783.
    In 1921 the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed as part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic .
    The Crimean ASSR was abolished in 1954 and was unlawfully gifted to the Ukrainian SSR.
    The Crimean Sovereignty Referendum was held in 1991, Voters were asked whether they wanted to re-establish the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which had been abolished in 1954.
    The proposal was approved by 94% of voters.
    Following the referendum, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union passed the law
    "On Restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic" on 12 February 1991. By this law it became independent of Ukraine.
    In 2014 The Autonomous Republic of Crimea conducted a referendum, 83 percent of the electorate cast their vote and 96.7 percent of them - Russians, Ukrainians and Tatars - voted to become a Republic in the Russian Federation.
    The vote was observed by 135 representatives of 23 countries and 240 observers represented the Crimean civic society and political parties. They unanimously confirmed that there were no violations and that everyone could vote freely.
  • siberianhusky
    Russia should ignore if the EU and the ZionNazies want to lift the sanctions.
    It hurts them more then Russia, don't accept the lifting of the sanctions as being back to normal. Let it hurt the EU and the rest of those who applied the sanctions until they are really hurting maybe then lift them under conditions that Russia will set.
  • demooij
    The biggest Ukraine jewel was the Crimea. In hands of the U.S/E.U, it will have shined all the way to Moscow. By failing to deliver this jewel the response was understandably. Like children thy acted and planned this fraud with roots in the past. Called Taiwan, West Berlin, and South Korea, to name a few. Thy forgot media power is obsolete. Their most trusted tool.
  • choticastile
    Mr Hofer sir, with all due respect, you first say, "...an internationally controlled referendum on Crimea’s national self-determination should have been carried out shortly after the USSR dissolution in 1991. Why only then? -- when it should have been done in 1954, when Krushchev's gift of Crimea to Ukraine was in flagrant breach of international law -- ignoring the Crimean people's voice of self-determination? Therefore, by international law, Crimea never belonged to Ukraine, as overnight the people woke up to find that Crimea now belonged to Ukraine, without so much as a whiff of consulting the people of Crimea... How can any president or prime minister have the power to give away part of a sovereign country, which belongs to the people -- in this case the Russian people -- and not to the head of any government or state.

    For 60 years the people of Crimea was therefore illegally part of Ukraine, as it still belonged to Russia by international law.

    Then Mr. Hofer you go on to assert "... that Crimea reunification with Russia was in violation of international laws,"

    How could it have been, when in the first place, Crimea's giveaway in 1954, was in complete violation of international laws and therefore Crimea actually never belonged to the Ukraine, had in fact always remained part of Russia.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander Mr. Hofer and although you meant well, the fact remains that International Laws should be consistently inviolable on all counts and had this been the case, Crimea would never have left Russia in 1954 and the 1991 dissolution of the USSR, would not have affected Crimea as it would still have been Russian territory.

    Sort of divine justice for the Crimean people ... that 60 years later, this time given the chance to vote by the Russian Federation, the people of Crimea would be able to conclusively vote for Crimea's return to a motherland from which they in actual fact had never been legally separated.
  • choticastilein reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
    siberianhusky, Yes, agree -- As Russia said, they will not ask for the sanctions to be lifted -- let them stew in the mess they created!
  • choticastilein reply toDirk Ramsey(Show commentHide comment)
    Dirk Ramsey, Thank you Dirk and 10/10 for that! Great clarity and hope Mr. Hofer reads it, as he also said above ... "The presidential candidate noted there was a particular lack of international observers at the 2014 Crimea referendum." So that is neither correct or based on fact either, because as you say, "135 representatives of 23 countries and 240 observers represented the Crimean civic society and political parties."
    Thanks again.
Show new comments (0)
Top stories