Ron Paul on Crimea: None of America’s business
The former Republican representative for Texas told RT earlier this month that he didn’t think the United States had any business meddling in overseas affairs and that worsening tensions in Ukraine should be resolved only by those directly involved. The citizens of Crimea have since approved a referendum to separate from Ukraine, but both the US and European Union responded with sanctions against certain officials from Russia and the former Ukrainian government as a result.
In an op-ed published by USA Today on Monday, Paul asked: “What’s the big deal?”
“Opponents of the Crimea vote like to point to the illegality of the referendum,” Paul wrote. “But self-determination is a centerpiece of international law.”
"Article I of the United Nations Charter points out clearly that the purpose of the UN is to ‘develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,’” he said. “Why does the US care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?”
“Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by US troops was called a ‘triumph of democracy’?” he asked.
The former congressman’s remarks were published just hours after the White House authorized a new wave of sanctions against Russia and released a statement from US President Barack Obama in which he warned that more could be ordered “if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine.”
But according to Paul, the US government has more or less ignored recent efforts waged by the people of Scotland, Catalonia and Venice to secede, and instead had opted only to focus on the Crimean conflict which, as a result, he says, “has led NATO closer to conflict with Russia than since the height of the Cold War."
“Perhaps the US officials who supported the unconstitutional overthrow of Ukraine's government should refocus their energies on learning our own Constitution, which does not allow the US government to overthrow governments overseas or send a billion dollars to bail out Ukraine and its international creditors,” the former congressman wrote.
Speaking to RT only a few weeks earlier, Paul said that “this idea that we are going to start bailing out Ukraine is total nonsense” and that “thewhole thing makes no sense whatsoever from an economic viewpoint [or] from a political viewpoint.” The US has since escalated efforts to assist the interim Ukrainian government and at the same time attempt to punish Moscow, however, and now Paul writes that “neither the US nor the EU can afford significant sanctions against Russia.”
“Global trade provides too much economic benefit to both sides,” he wrote. “Indeed, international markets rallied on news that the sanctions would be thus far minimal. They understand that trade and economic engagement are the surest roads to peace and prosperity. Let's hope governments will follow their lead.”