Thursday, March 20, 2014

Four lessons to be learned from the Ukraine crisis | Minister Shanmugam: Four lessons Singapore can learn from the Ukraine crisis

(People's Daily Online)    09:14, March 19, 2014

Ukraine has become the final battlefield in the "cold war", and it is becoming a possibility that the crisis will trigger a second "cold war". The Crimean parliament's declaration of independence from Ukraine ahead of the March 16 referendum indicates that Crimea may go ahead and join Russia. The tug of war between Russia and western countries teaches us four things.

A geostrategic conflict leads to the tragedy of big-power politics

Most people in west Ukraine are Catholics while in east Ukraine most are Russian Orthodox believers. The financial crisis caused conflict between civilizations, pushing Ukraine to the brink of bankruptcy and fragmentation. This created a vacuum that provided the big powers wth an incentive to meddle in Ukraine's affairs.
Ukraine's economic over-reliance on Russia is the soft underbelly of its national security

In recent years, the western countries have succeeded in promoting several regime changes. Ukraine is on the brink of debt default and bankruptcy. Ukraine's economic over-reliance on Russia is the soft underbelly of its national security. Western countries have taken advantage of this weak spot in their efforts to promote regime change in Ukraine.

Western countries' failure to grasp the lessons of history results in conflict

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war generated a degree of complacency in the West. Subsequently, with the rise of Neo-Conservatism and Neo-imperialism, the US has embroiled itself in conflicts such as the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. These stress points are a result of the West's inability to understand the lessons of history.

The double standards of western countries demonstrate their hypocrisy

Some Western countries were quick to back the independence referendum held in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija between Sept. 26 and 30, 1991; now they voice their objections to the referendum in the Crimea. In the past they have advocated that human rights – for example the right to self-determination - take precedence over sovereignty; now they claim that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine are paramount. Such double standards are rooted in the fact that in the final analysis, the values of the western powers are entirely determined by their own self-interest.
On March 17, first results showed that 96.6 percent of Crimeans had voted to join Russia in Sunday's referendum. The US refuses to accept the outcome of referendum. The Ukraine crisis will continue to pose a huge challenge to the major powers.

The article is edited and translated from《乌克兰危机的四点启示》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, author: Wang Yiwei. <<

March 6, 2014,  In Parliament, Foreign Minister K Shanmugam gave a wide-ranging speech on international relations.
During the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Committee of Supply debate, Foreign Minister K Shanmugam spoke about how MFA charts its course to best protect Singapore, its economy and its people’s interests. This is done by:

1) Building and maintaining strong international network of friends; and actively participating in international organisations which are relevant to Singapore
2) Supporting key regional organisations and platforms.
3) Maintain strong relationships with Singapore’s neighbours.

Using the Ukraine crisis as an example, he provided four lessons that Singapore can learn from the situation.

Lesson No. 1: When it comes to the crunch, treaties are only meaningful if one has the ability to enforce them. If Ukraine cannot defend the treaty, and has no partners which will come to its aid (with deeds, not just words), then the treaty by itself will not help Ukraine.

Lesson No. 2: In international relations, size matters. The disparity between big and small countries is a fact of life. A small country which cannot protect itself puts its sovereignty and its people at risk. Russia is vastly bigger than Ukraine, and its armed forces are much more powerful than the Ukraine armed forces. Russia is a nuclear power, and Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons as part of the 1994 treaty.

Lesson No. 3: The Security Council cannot always act decisively to protect small countries.

Lesson 4: When squeezed between two big powers or blocs, a smaller country like Ukraine can become a pawn. The country caught in between can be sacrificed if the two contending powers or blocs decide to reach a wider accommodation with each other, trading off their various interests. This has happened frequently in history – for example, to Poland. Smaller countries must always be aware of this >>

Read the full speech here<<



  1. VANGA saw a great LIGHT flash and then there are land masses that the earth witnesses in the change of what is coming. Edgar Cayce, many seers saw this and this isn't a FRAUD, concocted in the criminally insane agenda/s.

  2. Watching in the Century Twenty-first is happening. How long before the mass murderers of our own species do a backwards in time to IT, the ability to watch the criminally insane of our own species!?