Putin Reiterates To Merkel That Crimean Referendum Is Legal

Tyler Durden's picture

More of the same. Via the Kremlin:


Even as the West (and NATO) continues to reject any legitimacy of the referendum.

More from Reuters:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin more Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers should be sent to Ukraine, a plan he welcomed, Merkel's spokesman said on Sunday.


"The chancellor proposed swiftly expanding the existing OSCE presence in Ukraine and sending a bigger number of observers into hot spots, especially in East Ukraine," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement about a phone call between the two leaders.


"The Russian president viewed this initiative positively. He promised he would instruct Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov accordingly."


This should be agreed with as broad as possible support at an OSCE meeting in Vienna on Monday.


Merkel also condemned a Russian attempt on Saturday to try to enter a spit of land belonging to Kherson, a region adjacent to Crimea, Seibert said in the statement.

So what happens when the people vote - either in a rigged process or otherwise - to join Russia, Russia formally annexes the territory and calls the western diplomatic bluff? The answer may be provided as early as 8pm local Ukrainian time when the polls are set to close, and it will likely involve further provocations such as this one, reported moments ago by Sky News: "Interfax reports three Ukrainian military trains carrying equipment into eastern Ukraine have been intercepted by Russian forces."

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skwid vacuous's picture

he actually smiles? haven't seen that on PMSNBCBSFOX ever...

flacon's picture

Angela Merkel dancing in a bikini.... not kidding (you can not unwatch this):



Looney's picture

Merkel to Putin: Wanna barter some Russian gas for German beer?  ;-)


Stackers's picture

Silly Pitin, NATO only recognizes changes in governent if they happen from coups they stage through riots

gmrpeabody's picture


Certainly explains the photo...

(hat tip to the ZH photo editor) FYI.. you owe me a keyboard.

BaBaBouy's picture

OK Vlad, Lets Have A Towel Fight.

Rubbish's picture

If Tyler see obese dancing, you know it's woody on.

Lost My Shorts's picture

I am sure there are a lot of wide eyes in Chechnya today.  You mean you can just have a referendum and separate from the annoying country that owns you?  Who knew it was that easy !!  If Vlad plans to respect the referendum in Crimea, certainly he would respect the one in Chechnya.  And the other how many places who would vote to leave Russia if the could.  No?  Why not?

The  unassailable conventional wisdom of ZH is that Putin is a grandmaster playing chess, but I wonder if he is really a kid who found a grenade.  Not that I would criticize.  I personally like Putin, and feel like every time he frustrates the DC power elite, he is doing a favor to the American people.  Russia has shown a strange tendency in recent decades to ignore realpolitik ad do the right thing from a moral, humanist perspective.  Allowing self-determination in Crimea is the right thing to do (and also Texas, Chechnya, Tibet, Taiwan, Catalonia, and name where you will.)

By the way, if joining Russia was a voluntary act of the people -- that's quite a precedent -- could they later vote to un-join, and would Russia respect that?  I can't see why not.

And with China abstaining, you have to wonder, when's the referendum in Tibet?

This story is much more complex and deep down reality is not at all like the Fox-tard nonsense that normally gets repeated on ZH.

NDXTrader's picture

Your post made way too much sense to be posted here. Many here on ZH love Putin because he sticks his finger in the US's eye from time to time. As you said why does t Chechnya get the same chance?

richsob's picture

Be careful, Shorts, you're being waaaay too reasonable for the people who have swarmed over this website in the past couple of weeks.   Ivan and Tanya are wearing their fingers out hitting the down arrow every time something remotely critical of His Holiness Vladimir is mentioned here.  You will get down arrows about 50% of the time for your comment.  I'll get them about 90% of the time for this comment.

silvermail's picture

I'm not advocating for Putin.
I just stand against the lies, aggression and hypocrisy from US side.

Just a decent person, it does not mean pro-Putin person, is not it?

Quinvarius's picture

I think the west is used to dealing with unarmed opponents.  They akways want to bomb everyone as the last option.  They cannot credibly make that threat vs Russia so they have no endgame.  I dont know if id call it chess.  Obama just makes a lot of rookie mistakes because he doesnt know anything about history or global politics.

Lost My Shorts's picture

I know you are a die-hard barry-hater, but maybe it blinds you sometimes.  I don't see the rookie mistakes.  If you pull back from viewing it as just a whos-dick-is-longer contest and look what happened, it looks like this:

Under Yanukovych, Putin had effective control of all of Ukraine, and it was a very easy, inexpensive form of control.  Meanwhile Obama was nursing a grudge, after he offered a reset in relations and Putin pissed on his shoes.  So Kerrybama set loose their neocon monkeys on Ukraine, who threw wrenches into the Ukranian gears and very efficiently blew the place up.  Now where are we?  Putin will probably regain control of only part of Ukraine, and it will be very much more trouble and expense to maintain. Ukraine now becomes a permanent trouble spot for him, both on the ground (where ethnic Ukranian hotheads sit on all his gas pipelines) and in relations with the "international community."  The precedent of self-determination in Crimea will ultimately cost Russia the Caucasus, or increase the cost of holding that territory.  I don't see any Putin victory.

It's not even clear that a partition of Ukraine is a bad thing for "western" interests.  I am sure the EU would like to see the shale deposits of the western Ukraine fracked and the gas exported, and they would like it to be done not in cartel with Russian gas interests.  A bitter, broke rump Ukraine would probably sell the gas cheaper than a unified Ukraine under Russian influence.

SDShack's picture

Very good points, but there is another angle to consider. After the Soviet Union fell, the West HAD the opportunity to bring Ukraine completely under their influence, by staying out of Ukraine and just letting Ukrainians decide their own fate and they would have jumped at closer ties to the West. The problem is TPTB want to control everything and everyone. So the West did what it always does, try to NATO-ify all the Eastern European Former Soviet Satelites which just plays into the Soviet narrative that the West wants to invade the East. Now the intent of the West is clear... to destroy Russia to get control of their natural resources. The only way to achieve this is to destroy Russia economically, so their military will fall apart. Destruction of the Soviet Union accompllshed a lot of that, but not the destruction of Russian Nukes. That is the REAL threat. It's why NATO wants to install Missle Defence sites in all of Eastern Europe. It's why NATO wants Russia to lose their warm water port in Ukraine and Syria. Land based ICBMs are easier to neutralize with land based missle interceptors.... sub launched ICBMs are a different matter. And Russia has very capable sub launched ICBMs, and warm water ports are preferred to service them. So the need for Russia controling Crimea and Syria and their warm water ports is much more then just gas pipelines, it's militarily strategic.

Now fast forward to today. The West had all of Ukraine within it's speer of influence after the Soviet Union fell, but what did the West do? Overplayed their hand. It's not that Putin has lost Ukraine, Ukraine was "lost" after the Soviet Union fell! It's the West that has "lost" 1/2 the Ukraine because of their meddling. Russia has got what they want and needed, the Crimea. Everything else is just posturing. It will settle down in a few weeks with an independent Crimea being "recognized" by Russian allies, and not recognized by the West. Russia will stop at the Crimea and the "truce" that was announced today will become the basis for the final agreement between Russia and the West. Essentially, Ukraine will be a demilitarized zone. The West will not get any NATO bases there, in return for Russia not expanding into East Ukraine. Instead, NATO will beef up it's presence in the other Eastern European countries, most likely Poland. Watch 0zer0 have a change of heart on missle defense for Poland now. If it doesn't play out like I say, then the only other option is a completely divided Ukraine. Nato in the West, Russia in the East, with the Dnieper area being the dividing line like 38th parellel in Korea. I don't think either side wants that. Too much risk in something going wrong. BTW- I didn't junk you.


Lost My Shorts's picture

Seems to me that your points tend to back mine -- that Kerrybama are not "failing" with the arson they have committed in Ukraine, but doing just fine.  I disagree that the west could have nabbed Crimea in the immediate post-Soviet period.  There is always an ebb and flow in unsettled periods of history, and the worst move you can make is commit yourself to preserving an unstable condition, and blow vast resources in a hopeless effort to preserve it.  Crimea would always find its way back to Russia eventually, and probably even the neocons weren't so deluded that they could ever hold it.  They could only make it expensive, which they are doing right now.

I also don't agree that the west is trying to destroy Russia.  The west is by no means a unified thing.  The American military-security industrial complex of course wants to promote conflict to make money.  Careerist Kremlinologists in DC want to provoke conflict to preserve their jobs and relevance.  The Israel lobby has its own interests and schemes.  Eurocrats and DC policy wonks probably perceive Russia as inherently unstable and vulnerable because of the Putin autocracy and oligarch system with deep popular discontent.  I think the DC elite mostly wants Russia to retire fron the world stage, and stop complicating their adventures in the middle east and elsewhere; and the Eurocrats mostly want to be less dependent on Russia for energy.  None of them think they could ever actually occupy Russian territory or get a puppet government into the Kremlin.  There is no scenario in which the West could get Russian natural resources at below market prices, not even on the whiteboard.  If you think there is, describe it.

NB. the way to destroy Russia economically is not to put NATO bases in the Ukraine.  That is just psychological and the Euros don't really want war.  The way to wreck Russia's economy is to draw them into very expensive conflicts on their own periphery, and stand back and watch them bleed.  Not that I support any of that.

silvermail's picture

@ Lost My Shorts

I've never seen so many delirium, collected in one message!
1. Putin does not need western Ukraine. These areas have always been subsidized and there live descendants of the Nazis.
2. Shale gas - a utopia and a Ponzi scheme that can live only by the influx of new shareholders or subsidies ( tax breaks ) from the government. Soon you 'll see this for yourself.
3. Putin spit on the opinion of so-called "international community." I thought you already understood this .
4. Pray to God that Putin is not brought down the U.S. dollar and not turned the U.S. into a third world country. This will happen within 24 hours after Russia will announced about sales of oil and gas in exchange only for physical gold.

Lost My Shorts's picture

As a further note, I would recommend:

1) Never assume anyone's true perception of their interests is what they say it is.

2) Never assume the perception of anyone's interest as expressed by the bootlick morons in the American press is accurate.

3) Never assume that anything uttered by John McCain or Lindsay Graham, if connected to reality at all, is less than six removes away.

Then ask, what are everyone's true interests here.

Why would the EU want the Ukraine, a broke, fractured, hopelessly corrupt basket case, on its tab?  Don't the Euros have enough trouble with their PIIGS and tottering social systems?  How on earth could they afford the Ukraine too?  Maybe the Eurocrats mixed cocaine with their prosecco, and they really are crazy.  It's possible.  But it's also possible their true goals are not obvious.

What is the USA's real interest in Ukraine?  I'll take nothing for $2,000, Alex.  The USA's interest in the Ukraine.  What is nothing !!  Ding ding ding you control the board.  The DC elites were annoyed that Putin was being adversarial on the world stage, so apparently they committed some arson on his doorstep.  Take that -- force ol' Vlad to spend a lot of his political capital and cash putting out fires in his front yard, and keep his nose out of our adventures further afield.  I don't personally support that sort of bloody-minded foreign policy, but from the standpoint of the DC elites, making it expensive for Putin is the only real interest they have in Ukraine.  Or did I miss something?  Tell me, what is our interest there?  (Don't say proving our dick is longer.)

As for the ethnic Russians in the eastern Ukraine and Crimea, how do they perceive their interests?  In that part of the world, language and nationalism seems to trump reason most of the time.  Who wants an EU passport, guaranteed human rights, and the right to live and work in France or Germany whenever you want?  Nyet nyet !! Is better to be subject to Putin !!  Nazdrovya or whatever they say.  But there might be buyer's remorse at some point, which only prolongs and increases the cost to Putin.

The Fox-tards just portray the whole thing as a dick olympics, and position their camera in such a way that putin's Dick looks longer after each event.  But that is bullshit.  That is not looking ten moves ahead.  Who is looking ten moves ahead, and what do they see?  It's not an easy question.

Independent's picture

Ok dude let me lay it out for you in case you haven't been keeping up on the Good the Bad and the Ugly.  All three kill people and are pistoleros.  Putin just happens to be the Good guy and so does Russia.  The Ugly are the USA, also known as the hand puppet of AIPAC, because they have been hijacked by the BAD (the dual-citizen Tribe who strives for world domination and enslavement)

To show you what the Bad think about the world scene look no further than their revered Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who said as followed up by the christian science monitor...

For instance, in 2010 he said in a weekly Saturday night sermon that the sole purpose God put non-Jews on earth was to be servants to Jews.

"Goyim (gentiles, non-Jews) were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel," he said, according to the Jerusalem Post. "Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created." An "effendi" is a lord, or a master, in Arabic.


Now anyone who has dealt with the Chechens can tell you they are UGLY and up to no good, so you have to keep them in check and where you can see them else they are going to kill ya.  So no referendum for the suckers to run loose and kill everyone in the Caucuses in their quest for Islamic Caliphate.  So screw the Chechens.

Now all you punks start getting holier than though when the Russians do something but when the Tribe and its hand puppet the USA does something in Kosovo, or Latin America, or the Middle East its just another day in Paradise.  Look Putin is doing a fraction of what the USA has done this past thirty years. So if by having the bases in Crimea means Putin has an extra gun in the gunfight against town domination by the Tribe and its hand puppet USA then its a good thing sucker.

The Pistoleros decide who walks and who talks in the Wild Wild Earth, just a fact of reality, it just matters who you want to be standing at the end of the movie.  Now drop your gay bath towel the donkey show is about to start and it helps you have nothing on cause you lost your shorts

Byte Me's picture

Bashkortostan ain't got a Russki majority either. The largest ethnic fraction IS Russian (about a third I guess) but the other 2/3 could tell them that they think otherwise and of course Putty would let them go. Otherwise he'd be as big a hypocrite as our western wonders.

I can't understand how all these ethno-russian pussies are "frightened" by a bunch of fascist dipshits in Kiev and run off bleating for Big Bad Vlad to protect them. Russia has plenty of provinces (I heard Putty say so) - If you want to live in Russia then man up and fuck off and live there.

Now you watch - that'll get a response - why the troll gang might even stop playing Jackov and down vote me..

silvermail's picture

In Chechnya already has been a referendum. And People said: "Together with Russia."
Are there any questions?

If you were literate person, then you would know that Chechnya has never put forward demands to secede from Russia. Because Chechnya can not be an independent state within its borders. It sees and understands any fool who saw topographic map.
Even Dudayev was demanded for Chechnya only special conditions as part of the Russian Federation.
You should read more history, but not propaganda from faux news.

AlaricBalth's picture

Merkel to Putin: Wanna barter some Russian gas for German gold being held at the US Fed?

Putin to Merkel: Hahahaha...that's a good one. I love droll German humor.

dogbreath's picture

<----   Do I ?

<----   Don't I  ?

CPL's picture

It's going to take a 40 of rye to get her done proper.

CPL's picture

Holy shit it's the Elaine dance from Seinfield.  That's fit for a meme.

So Close's picture

I am sure Putin will support the succesion of Texas when the time comes.  I know I will.

sunnyside's picture

How about if California has a vote to leave the US and join Mexico?

Husk-Erzulie's picture

They can have everything south of Big Sur... Take Hollywood please, just leave SanFrancisco.

Postal's picture

How about if the rest of the country just votes to give back California?

Bonapartist's picture

CA, TX, NM and AZ would be nice- US of MEX.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

People wanting to split NorCal from SoCal is nothing new.  Nor is the idead of forming 'Cascadia' by merging Oregon, Washington, and Iowa, perhaps with BC joining. 

These kind of political re-mapping from time to time is merely consistent with the natural demographic changes over time.  It shouldn't be a big deal in theory, but it is in practice, because of the impact on politicians and oligarchs who are affected.  Peaceful and civil secessions, like that of Czeckoslovakia is almost unherad of.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

California is splitting up, remember?


I am in Jefferson. We have water, weed, wood and wine. Beat it kooks!

silvermail's picture

Somebody make an armed fascist coup in Washington.
Russia declares that "the new government" in Washington - it's nice and legal.
I want to see how Texas will agree to submit to the criminal rebels authority.

BandGap's picture


You asshole!

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

At least it wasn't blue waffles for breakfast.

You can unthank me later.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Damn it! Every day I tell myself : ok, today is a no link day. Then I succumb to impulsive, morbid curiosity. Perhaps I should try: no links so early in the morning when hung over and not wearing sunglasses.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Clearly Merkel made all the right 'moves' to get to where she is now.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Ya, but young and not fat. Her face will never be pretty but that picture actually wasn't painful. I didn't click on the thing you replied to, however. :-)

f16hoser's picture

Don't waste your time Vladdy, she's a woman and a Sour Kraut at that! She does what her Banker Handlers tell her to do.

H. Perowne's picture

Well, he has a lot to smile about lately. Frau Merkel, not so much.

Berspankme's picture

angela mentioned Von Rumpoy

Aussie V's picture

Merkel loooks like a schoolgirl telling everyone about her secret boyfriend

1stepcloser's picture

Ahh Fraulein, I Putin, can get your gold returned

sessinpo's picture

And why would he when he can probably get and keep Germany's gold.

1stepcloser's picture

Because it can be used to invade in a few years...we are playing global chess here.

hansg's picture

Europe (both the nations themselves and the EU) is absolutely terrified that its various regions will discover the Power of Secession, and then abundantly vote to use that power. Allowing an Ukrainian region to vote for its own future also opens the doors for German, Italian, Spanish, Irish, or God knows what other regions to do the same. Even if central governments "held everything together" (the favorite pastime of european politicians), the damage to their legitimicy would be immense.

I'd vote for secession from The Hague, but given my geographical location (right next to it) this may be difficult to pull off... Still, don't think it isn't being considered.