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Ambassador's letter to Editor-in-Chief of The Jakarta Post newspaper

With reference to the recent publication in The Jakarta Post on Dec. 18 of the article “Avoiding the worst in Ukraine and Taiwan” by Jeffrey D. Sachs, which offers a biased interpretation of the Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014 as well as in the sphere of security in general, I wish to share the following information in this regard.

On March 16, 2014, Crimean inhabitants deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine following the coup in Kiev which resulted in toppling the legitimate president Victor Yanukovych held a referendum on reunification with the Russian Federation. The referendum was organized in full conformity with democratic procedures as well as international legal norms and law.

In total, 96.77 percent of voters supported reunification with their historical Motherland – Russia. Therefore, to call the referendum “annexation” is totally wrong. Those who doubt that fact are welcome to visit Crimea and witness the life of the peninsula with their own eyes.

Speaking about the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk, it is worth noting that Russia has never occupied these territories, which claimed independence. On the contrary, Russia continuously supports the Minsk Agreements, which Kiev refuses to fulfill.

Regarding tensions in Russia-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) relations, Moscow is concerned about NATO’s line aimed at aggressive escalation of the security situation as well as militarization. For instance, in 2020 NATO defense expenditures increased up to US$1.09 trillion (+7.4 percent) and keep rising, on the contrary Russian spending was just $50 billion.

Russia is also concerned about NATO’s intensifying activity in close proximity to its borders. Thus, in October US strategic bombers conducted about 30 flights to the borders of the Russian Federation, or 2.5 times more compared to the same period of last year. These bombers practiced employing nuclear weapons against Russia simultaneously from the western and eastern directions, at the same time the minimal distance from our state border was 20 kilometers.

Taking it into consideration, on Dec. 17 the Russian side proposed that NATO consider some proposals on security guarantees such as to rule out further NATO expansion, abandon any NATO military activities in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, commit not to create conditions that might be perceived as a threat by the other party, etc. We are awaiting a response from NATO now.

I believe that the above information will help the esteemed readers of the Post to shape a holistic view of what has been really going on in Crimea as well as the current situation in the security sphere.

 

The letter was published in The Jakarta Post newspaper on December 23, 2021


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