Ekaterina Vinnik on Vesti.FM: it is impossible to compare events in Crimea and Catalonia

Ekaterina Vinnik on Vesti.FM: it is impossible to compare events in Crimea and Catalonia

It is incorrect to compare events in Catalonia and Crimea both from a historical, political and moral point of view, an analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza, Ekaterina Vinnik said today live in the National Question program on Vesti FM, commenting on the topic of Catalonia's independence referendum held on October 1st.

According to the expert, the only thing that unites these two concrete cases is a fact of holding a referendum. "In Crimea, the question of reunification with Russia as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation was put to the vote, in other words, it was not about independence as such, but about the new status of the peninsula as a part of another state." In case of Catalonia, the question was whether Catalans want Catalonia to become a republic - an independent state - and these are completely different applications, " she said.

Developing the topic of the principle impossibility of comparing two precedents, the analyst drew attention to the conditions in which the referendums were held. ”In 2014, highly unstable political situation developed in Ukraine, threatening the inhabitants of Crimea to some extent. That is why a decision was made to vote for uniting with Russia, especially since the Constitution of Ukraine allowed such an action to be taken. In Catalonia, there is no such a threat for Catalans from Spain, and referendums on independence have already been held repeatedly in 2009-2010 in various municipalities of the region, " Ekaterina Vinnik said, specifying that holding of the referendum was banned by the Constitutional Court of Spain.

The next difference, on which the expert focused, lies in the historical prerequisites of the aspirations of the inhabitants of Catalonia and Crimea. "The reason for Catalans’ dissatisfaction with their status in Spain is that many key parts of the Catalonia autonomy statute were abolished in 2010. That is, the Catalans were not recognized as a separate nation, their language was not given a priority in the region, and the financial measures were cut. In other words, the referendum was not an attempt to gain independence, but rather an attempt to demonstrate discontent with the established status quo to the leadership of Spain. In case of Crimea, nothing of the sort happened. The majority of the peninsula’s population are Russians (about 70%), historically the peninsula was a part of the Russian empire first, then the USSR, and  it became a of Ukraine for variety of reasons, " she said.

In conclusion, the expert of Vestnik Kavkaza news agency stressed once again the impossibility of comparing the referendum data. "Different prerequisites, different conditions for holding, even turnouts in the Crimean and Catalan referendums vary greatly,’’ she noted.

"It is worth emphasizing that Russia has a great experience in solving problems like  the Catalan one, given the multinational nature of our country, and perhaps, Spain could pay attention to it," Ekaterina Vinnik concluded.

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