Ron Paul: 'Why Does US Care' About Crimea?

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 07:31 PM

By Jason Devaney

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The United States should not be so concerned with Crimea’s decision to secede from Ukraine, Ron Paul writes in a commentary for USA Today.

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"Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?" writes for the former congressman from Texas.

Paul has been all over the news regarding the Ukraine crisis, and his message has remained the same: stop blaming Russia.

"This whole thing that Putin is the big cause of the trouble is pretty good evidence that the Europeans as well as the American government have contrived to have the overthrow of a government that most people say had been elected," Paul said on the Fox Business Channel last week.

The week before that, just after the crisis began on the Black Sea peninsula, Paul told Fox's Neil Cavuto that a $1 billion aid package proposed by the Obama administration to help Ukraine was the wrong move.

"It always backfires," he said. Paul said aid packages, in his view, rarely reach the people that need them most.

In his USA Today commentary, Paul questions deep U.S. involvement — and interest — in the situation that has resulted in Crimea's becoming part of Russia. He even drew a comparison to Iraq.

"What's the big deal? Opponents of the Crimea vote like to point to the illegality of the referendum," Paul writes. "But self-determination is a centerpiece of international law. Article I of the United Nations Charter points out clearly that the purpose of the U.N. is to ‘develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.’

"Critics point to the Russian ‘occupation’ of Crimea as evidence that no fair vote could have taken place. Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by U.S. troops was called a ‘triumph of democracy?’"

Paul added that the Constitution does not allow the U.S. government to participate in overthrowing a foreign government. He also mentioned the "minimal" sanctions the Obama administration has put on Russia, which include freezing the U.S. assets of seven Russian officials.

Obama vowed to "impose further sanctions" if Russia continued its actions.

"Neither the U.S. nor the E.U. can afford significant sanctions against Russia," Paul countered in his commentary. "Global trade provides too much economic benefit to both sides."

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