Khodorkovsky: Crimean issue will not be solved even after the fall of Putin's regime

Author : Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Source : 112 Ukraine

Exiled oligarch and vocal Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky on the fate of Crimea
10:24, 24 May 2017

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Russian society is now experiencing the so-called "Weimar syndrome," the syndrome of a humiliated nation. I think this is a wrong feeling. There was no actual defeat in the Cold War. Both parties, the West and Russia, have just liberated from the cold.

But the society was forced to admit that it has lost. And this feeling of a humiliated nation was present. Putin is therapeuting this humiliation at the expense of some of the society.

Related: Russian State Duma wants to turn Crimea to offshore zone

How much is the society willing to spend on this? Plenty. They spend on this direction at least 20% of GDP. Relatively speaking, spending such funds, when your hospitals do not work, the schools are in a terrible condition, roads are unrepaired, would be deadly for the government somewhere in the Western Europe.

Now Russia faced the situation like Germany did after the First World War, when society was ready to allow the government to spend money in order to “scratch its pride.” Russia is a rich country, and 20% of GDP is quite a big amount. By real spending on weapons, we are commensurate with the United States and Western Europe. A large piece of GDP is taken, and people still agree with this. I hope that this situation is temporary. And we already see that the so-called "Crimean consensus", which means agreement to spend part of GDP on various kinds of senseless military adventures instead of improving the well-being of people, is being destroyed. I hope that it would not last long.

Related: Number of Russian troops increases in occupied Crimea, -  Ukraine’s Border Guard Service

... Even if the power changes, I am convinced that issue of returning Crimea will not be on the agenda of the first two years. This means that some sanctions would remain. What can we do. Politics, as we say, is the art of the possible. We cannot do what cannot be done.

Related: Water supply to Crimea completely blocked after building new Ukrainian dam

Related: Tillerson: Anti-Russian sanctions will act until Russia returns Crimea, fully implements Minsk agreements

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