Staunton, November 21 – Sergey Aksyonov, head of the Russian occupation administration in Crimea, says that the international community will recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation after US President Barack Obama leaves office, a statement that underscores the need for a formal non-recognition policy on the part of Western governments.
An important step was taken in that direction when the Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday unanimously passed HR 5121, “The Crimea Annexation Non-Recognition Act” (gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr5241ih/pdf/BILLS-113hr5241ih.pdf). Drafted by Representatives Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), the measure prohibits US federal agencies from “taking any action that recognizes or implies recognition of the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters.”
Modeled on US non-recognition policy regarding the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and based on the Stimson Doctrine holds that the United States will never recognize any territorial changes achieved by force alone, this measure provides a direction for other countries in the West to follow.
Just as Baltic non-recognition policy underlined the illegitimacy of Soviet occupation of the Baltic countries and encouraged their peoples to believe that they would one day recover de facto their status as independent states which they did in 1991, so too the new law, if passed, could have the same effect for Crimea.
In his TASS interview, Aksyonov also said that “all the anti-Russian policy of the last two or three years” will disappear with Obama’s exit from office, something he said could be accelerated by the organization of Russian compatriots in the US. He urged that Russia’s oligarchs should create a foundation to organize movements among them.