The West is inclined to consider Crimea's secession from Ukraine and military conflict in Donbas as the two separate issues, deems a Spanish expert, adding that European governments miscalculated the consequences of their involvement in Ukraine's turmoil.
Ekaterina Blinova — The West is inclined to consider Crimea's secession and military conflict in eastern Ukraine as the two separate issues, noted Dr. Javier Morales, an expert from the Spanish Fund "Alternative."
Dr. Javier Morales, a lecturer at the European University of Madrid and expert on Russia in the Spanish Fund "Alternative" noted in an interview with RIA news agency that the West would not pressure Russia to re-consider its stance on reunification with Crimea. According to the expert, European governments are currently focused on de-escalation of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. They are inclined to regard the situation in Donbas as a separate issue. Indeed, by seeking ways to establish peace in Ukraine, the West realized that the controversy surrounding Crimea might complicate the problem and aggravate tensions further with Russia.
The expert stressed that the idea voiced by Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, that the Crimean issue could be considered by the International Tribunal in The Hague did not receive much support from the EU member states. Dr. Javier Morales underscored that Spain's stance over Crimea's secession from Ukraine had certain grounds: if Madrid recognized Crimea's right to rejoin Russia that would mean the Spanish government indirectly approved the right of Catalonians to seek independence from Spain.
The expert suggested that the EU would formally maintain its stand on Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine, since it does not want to set a "dangerous" precedent, but it would not raise the Crimean issue in negotiations with Russia over the fate of eastern Ukraine.
Dr. Javier Morales emphasized that by imposing sanctions against Russia the EU evidently shot itself in the foot. According to Spanish authorities, the European Union has already lost over 21 billion euro due to its irresponsible sanctions policy and Russia's trade embargo. Russia's and the EU's economies are deeply interconnected and the measures imposed against Moscow inevitably hit back at Europe, the expert noted.
However, there is still a chance to defuse the situation, if Ukraine and its eastern regions fulfill all the conditions of the Minsk agreements, underscored Dr. Morales. In that case, Europe will start to lift its sanctions against Russia. The expert believes that the European Union has made a grave mistake engaging into the Euromaidan unrest. European governments miscalculated the consequences of their involvement in the Ukrainian turmoil, concluded Dr. Morales.