UKRAINE: The right to free choice

By Eddy Montilla.

Before Ukraine’s ex-President, Viktor Yanukovych, fled furtively his country and magnificent mansion, which incidentally made me think that this man was far from being a good president, Ukrainians were pushing for two possible directions: To strengthen the bonds with the European Union through a deal for closer integration or lean more toward Russia. This is the principle of free choice.

     But later, Vladimir Putin, with his eyes on Ukraine, changed the social and political scene of that country, because even though Russia got there without firing a shot, the truth is that the mere presence of Russian troops was enough to terrify or dissuade many Ukrainians who strived for trade agreement with the European Union. The same presence was used as a backup for pro-Russian protesters to perpetrate violence and take public buildings.

     The right of peoples to self-determination gives meaning to us as group, society and country. Therefore, either they lean toward Russia or the European Union, Ukrainians have the right to protest and choose their own path without external or internal pressure, but peacefully. Russia first, and then Oleksandr Turchynov and his interim Ukrainian Government, Obama and the European political leaders, all of them should let the Ukrainian people decide over their own destiny through a referendum or any other pacific and democratic method. Do not put pressure on Ukraine. Do not kill the right to free choice.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved.


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