17:14 GMT +322 October 2019
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    View of the St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker church/light house in the village of Malorechenskoye in the Crimea's Sudak District.

    Friends Only: West Denies Crimea's Right to Self-Determination

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    The stories of Crimea and Kosovo fuel concerns that only friends of Western countries, and not their opponents, are allowed to exercise the right to decide their own destiny, the NRC Handelsblad newspaper says.

    "If the 'autonomous region of Kosovo' has a right to choose its future, then there can be no legal grounds to strip the 'autonomous republic of Crimea' of this right," the daily noted, accusing the West and the Dutch media of double standards.

    The Dutch media outlets, according to the evening newspaper, are largely uniform in their anti-Russian stance and fail to understand that Crimea's reunification with Russia did not happen in a vacuum.

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    The Black Sea peninsula called a referendum following a bloody uprising in Kiev, hailed by the Western governments as a "democratic revolution," although there was nothing democratic about it. After all, "forceful ousting of an elected president amounts to a coup," the daily observed.

    In March 2014, more than 96 percent of Crimeans voted in favor of splitting with Ukraine and joining Russia.

    • Rally and concert on Vasilyevsky Slope to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia
      Rally and concert on Vasilyevsky Slope to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia
      © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
    • Rally to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia in St. Petersburg
      Rally to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia in St. Petersburg
      © Sputnik / Igor Russak
    • People watch fireworks at the central Lenin square in Simferopol, Crimea.
      People watch fireworks at the central Lenin square in Simferopol, Crimea.
      © AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev, File
    • Rally and concert on Vasilyevsky Slope to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia.
      Rally and concert on Vasilyevsky Slope to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia.
      © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
    • A file picture taken on March 16, 2014 shows a Crimean couple kissing as people celebrate in Simferopol's Lenin Square after exit polls showed that about 93 percent of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia.
      A file picture taken on March 16, 2014 shows a Crimean couple kissing as people celebrate in Simferopol's Lenin Square after exit polls showed that about 93 percent of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia.
      © AFP 2019 / DIMITAR DILKOFF
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    © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
    Rally and concert on Vasilyevsky Slope to mark anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia

    The day of the vote turned into a "national celebration" for the locals, NRC Handelsblad said. Indeed, not only did the overall majority of ethnic Russians opt for the reunification deal; members of ethnic minorities also voiced their support.

    The Dutch newspaper also pointed out the fact that Ukraine's borders have been constantly redrawn throughout history. "This process has to be carried out through dialogue, under international supervision and based on the declared democratic rights of those, who live on the disputed territories," the media outlet said.

    In 2010, the International Court of Justice based in the Hague "seriously limited the principle of territorial integrity. Kosovo's declaration of independence was found to be legal," paving the way for other regions around the world to follow suit, the newspaper observed.

    "Why does the West then deny those living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia or Donetsk and Lugansk the right to self-determination declared through a national vote?" the newspaper asked.

    According to the NRC Handelsblad, new borders will appear and the United Nations should get on top of the process and work out appropriate rules and procedures.

    Related:

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    US Propaganda on Crimea Misleading, But 'Understandably' So - French MP
    'No Occupation!': French Lawmakers Confirm Crimean Residents Live in Peace
    Referendum Saved Crimea From Donbass-Like Bloodshed - French Lawmaker
    Tags:
    self-determination, politics, referendum, Crimean reunification, Ukraine, Kosovo, Crimea, Russia
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