Thursday, October 1, 2015

The food blockade of Crimea only hurts Ukraine, not Russia

Dmitry Polikanov,, Sept 30

Image from article, with caption: A member of a right sector nationalist group carries tires to block a road heading towards Crimea, in the village of Chongar, Ukraine, on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

Attempts at a food blockade of Crimea appear to be nothing more than a stunt coordinated by the Kiev authorities that may actually end up hurting Ukraine more than it hurts Russia.

The ongoing food blockade of Crimea by activist groups seems to be one of the strangest steps yet in Ukrainian foreign policy and public diplomacy in the past 18 months. Closed roads, concrete blocks on the railways, hundreds of trucks stuck at the border for several days – all this combined with the permanent threats to shut down the electricity supplies to the peninsula puts Crimea further away from Ukraine and buries the last hopes for peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. ...
It may happen that the current blockade is just a PR action to draw attention of the international community before and during President Putin’s visit to the United Nations and his talks with President Obama. If so, this trolling of the Russian authorities will stop soon. Even if it does not, it is quite clear that such action will only widen the distance between Crimea and Ukraine and will hardly bring a constructive note to Russian-Ukrainian relations in both the short and long run.

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