Having encountered organized resistance in Novorussia and, especially, in Crimea, Western sponsors of Ukrainian Nazi-putschists never stop efforts to influence the events indirectly. They set great store by the mission of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) military observers visiting the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Jay Carney, White House press-secretary, said, «there is an easy way out for Russia, there is an easy off-ramp, which is to embrace an effort to bring U.N. or OSCE monitors to Crimea so that they can independently assess the situation on the ground, assess the status of ethnic Russians, and ensure that their rights are being protected — because we and many others have made clear that it is very important for the Ukrainian government to assure that the rights of all Ukrainian citizens are protected. But again, there is an easy way out here for Russia, and we certainly hope they take it».
Sending OSCE military observers to Ukraine, including Crimea, was an idea of the new government in Kiev. It’s worth to note that at first it was planned to send separate teams of observers from OSCE member-states, only then the idea of sending a joint mission took shape. Actually it’s a group of people acting under the banner of the organization with little influence, though well-known. The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense (!) teamed up with the OSCE by appointing two officers. It said activities of military observers in Crimea do not require special OSCE mandate because it is covered by the Vienna Document. Under its Article 3 any member state can request on a voluntary basis observers from other member nations to deploy in its territory where military activities dubious to the international community are alleged to be taking place. Initially Ukraine requested the military observer mission in the Crimea region on March 5-12. The kind of logic used to justify the OSCE mission to Crimea would even better substantiate the need to send, for instance, Russian or Chinese military observers to Kiev, so that they could check the activities of Pravy Sector militant groups. Mercenaries of all kinds have already started to concentrate there…
Igor Shishkin, deputy director of the Russian Institute of CIS Studies said, «Nazi groups acting under Bandera movement banners raided local administrations in different regions of Ukraine but no OSCE missions were sent there. The OSCE did not see what was happening as well as it ignored the threat coming from Pravy Sector. But as soon as Russia said it won’t let bloodshed take place in the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine, the OSCE team appeared. No doubt it would condemn «Russian imperialism» and say that the «poor Bandera movement militants» suffer for nothing». Now is the time to get back to Jay Carney talking about the easy way out for Russia. No doubt the Crimeans are already «convinced» that the government in Kiev is going to defend the rights of Russians in Ukraine. It’s enough to remember the fire arms attack against a bus returning to Crimea from Kiev and mass clashes in the heart of Simferopol on February 27.
There is no whatsoever doubt that the appearance of European ‘observers» in Crimea, including the ones in military uniform, would negatively affect the situation. That’s what Boris Lurze, a representative of the community of Krymchaks, said at a press-conference in Simferopol that the OSCE mission is to provoke interethnic conflict. According to him, «until now Crimea was calm. I know it well; I patrol the streets daily as a member of local militia. Now the OSCE team came and they see it’s all tranquil here, so they need to rock the boat and stage provocations. That’s what has already started, I mean the events near the dislocation of the 32th army corps, some people involved in such actions are still there, and they are trying to play what I call a Crimea Tatars trump card. They try to incite national hatred making clash people of different ethnic groups. The provocations are being staged now».
It’s not an occasion that the OSCE functionaries pay special attention to Tatar Mejlis (the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is the central executive body of the Kurultai of Crimean Tatars). On March 6 OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Mrs. Astrid Thors met Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. After the meeting she expressed concern over the tense situation in Crimea. According to her, the whole range of diplomatic options will be studied by the OSCE office to reduce tension on the peninsula and find ways out of the crisis.
On March 5 the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe confirmed that its military observers were being prevented from entering Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula. «We can now confirm that the military verification/observers were indeed prevented from entering Crimean territory», spokeswoman Natacha Rajakovic said. Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkyavichusa said the peninsula leadership is not willing to establish contacts with international organizations. Having fired a propaganda salvo against the peninsula government, he forgot to mention specific nature of such missions. Let’s remember Kosovo. On January 16, 1999 William Walker, the former head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, all of a sudden appeared in the village of Rack, Kosovo and Metohija to find traces of a «massacre» carried out by Serbs against «peaceful civilians» who were Albanians by origin. It was used as a pretext for attacking Yugoslavia. Those who reside in South Ossetia could see how such «missions» operate with their own eyes. Before Georgian troops attacked Tskhinval, the OSCE mission on the ground had been collecting intelligence information and doing other things in the interests of aggression.
Of course, self-defense units of the peninsula are capable of fighting back those who stage provocations from outside, but it’s not excluded that attempts to incite internal tensions will take place. For instance, the government in Kiev spread around rumors about U.N. envoy and Secretary-General representative Robert Serry, who arrived in Crimea on March 5, was kidnapped. It could be a beginning. The Simferopol hotels are full of people speaking European languages who appear to be Western media men, employees of NGOs and those who are just «curious». It always presages important events. In Crimea it could be incitement of interethnic clashes or activities aimed at prevention of the March 16 referendum on the status of the Autonomy. Different kinds of uninvited observers are trying to get to the peninsula.
Russia realizes that international organizations may try to undermine stability there. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has criticized moves by the OSCE and NATO, which have suspended some joint undertakings with Russia, saying their actions «are not helping to create an atmosphere of dialogue and constructive cooperation». No doubt his statement will be followed by measures to prevent provocations staged in Crimea under the cover of OSCE or the United Nations. The bloody traces left by the West using the cover of international organizations in the Balkans and the Caucasus are still vivid in memory.