Tuesday, 18 March 2014 00:00 GFP Columnist - Joseph M. Cachia
About 95% of Crimeans in referendum voted to join Russia  - preliminary results.

So now it’s over!  The people have spoken!  But this time the massive majority in Crimea, unlike the strikingly poor but violent mob, definitely in the minority of not more than, perhaps, 18%, incited and openly-supported by US/EU (United States/European Union) bloc in Ukraine have legitimately and undeniably expressed their choice of course for the future of their country.

Your Honour, you reportedly condemned the events taking place in Crimea and reiterated Malta's call for the full respect of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.  But how is it that Malta never condemned the violent uprising, against a democratically-elected and legitimate Government in Ukraine?  And what did you have to condemn in Crimea?  Well, you now have the answer!

You emphasised that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine are inviolable under international law.  Hopefully, you recall that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and thus your statement also now equally applies to the Crimean people!

Or, are we going to kowtow, as constantly had been, to the European Union diktat and continue to support and aid the unruly and illegitimate uprising in Ukraine?  At least, it was heartening to note that while some countries were calling for sanctions against the Ukraine, our Foreign Affairs minister was calling for the EU ministers to assess the situation, as Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich agreed to a truce with opponents and offered early elections.

Your Honour, you will recall that, not so long ago, late last year, Malta formally signed a Convention on avoiding double taxation between Malta and Ukraine at the end of the your visit to Kiev.  What of that now?  Does it any more hold water or was it just a photographic shoot?
What caused your change of heart with Yanukovich?  How quickly can friends turn into enemies!  Not much unlike the hypocritical treatment of Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi by the Gonzi administration!

You Honour, you stated that you believed that the Ukrainian people are sending clear signals to the Ukrainian President that the way forward for Ukraine is for closer cooperation and eventual membership in the EU.  So, can it be taken that the minority representation of 18% of the population (if all in the streets were all Ukrainians, which is very doubtful as we also had US/EU representatives in the crowd) had the right to revolt against the decision of their legitimate government?

In such case, we here in Malta must be very cautious and watchful.  In the 2003 EU referendum, we had a turnout of nearly 124,000 citizens who voted against Malta’s membership in the European Union and who today have no representation in any political party. 

This amounts to 46% of the voting population – a considerably much higher percentage than the Ukrainian 18%.  Thus, does this imply that, if this percentage rises against the local legitimate government regarding its choice of any EU imposition with which it does not agree, make such uprising lawful and other countries have the right to interfere in the sovereignty of our country?  Hardly valid and plausible reasoning!  Just thinking!

It seems that the present Partit Laburista (Malta Labour Party) hasn’t learnt much from the Mintoff legacy!

Image: People celebrate as they wait for the announcement of preliminary results of today's referendum on Lenin Square in the Crimean capital of Simferopol March 16, 2014 (Reuters / Thomas Peter)

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