July 14th, 2014
02:43 PM ET

Is Russia's Crimea move akin to annexation of Kuwait?

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Fareed speaks with former Swedish Prime Minster Carl Bildt, now the country’s foreign minister, about the recent tensions between Europe and Russia over Ukraine.

You gave a very tough speech at the Atlantic Council in which you said that Russia's annexation of Crimea has only one parallel in modern history, in the last 30, 40 years, and that was Iraq – Saddam Hussein's annexation of Kuwait. That was, of course, met with a massive international coalition that repulsed that intervention. What is one to conclude from the fact that there’s no such forceful counter-measure in this case?

Well, I mean in the case of Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, of course, there was a resolution by the U.N. Security Council. Now, Russia is a member of the Security Council, so that's never going to happen. I mean they're going to block everything that is related to this.

But I think it’s important that we are extremely firm on how grave the violation of international law is that Russia has undertaken in the case of Crimea, and that we make very clear to Russia that the invasion, the occupation and the annexation of Crimea will have consequences. We will never accept it. And it will be a burden on our bilateral relationship for as long as it lasts.

We’re not going to undo the occupation immediately, but we must be very clear that it isn’t acceptable – it wasn’t acceptable in the Kuwait case, it's not acceptable in the Crimea case. It is not acceptable in any future other cases, either.

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Topics: GPS Show • Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Rodger Olsen

    Funny, I don't remember Saddam holding an internationally monitored referendum in Kuwait. I also doubt that a clear majority of Kuwait residents were actually ethnic Iraqis who hated Kuwait.
    In fact, the Swedish foreign minister has not been able to come up with a single valid commonality between the two situations.
    I would guess that he is just looking for an excuse to keep NATO alive by creating a boogy man.

    July 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • bob

      Referendum... at the point of a bayonet of occupation for the 24% of the Crimea who are Tatars and were deported by Stalin ! As to that referendum.... the Russians , accidentally released onto internet (story in russian and english, german and french) the statistics of actually what percentage of available voters did vote, how many twice or more , how many were NOT legally registered in the oblast and precincts along with THEIR estimates of how many stayed away from fear and intimidation by the New Brown Shirts . Who are fascists ? I mean, look at the Sudetenland actions of Putler and Minister Goebbels , I mean Medvedev.

      July 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Reply
      • gghjj

        24% Tatars in Crimea ? are you stupid there is 10% in Crimea and 80% Russians ......

        July 16, 2014 at 10:43 am |
    • Vitaliy

      Dear, there were no sing of an internationally monitored referendum in Crimia. I just read several comments like yours and understand that you are just trolls or heartless.

      July 16, 2014 at 3:15 am | Reply
  2. George patton

    The answer to that stupid question is definitely NO! Another right-wing fanatic is just trying to scare us to death as usual!!!

    July 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  3. derss

    "Is Russia's Crimea move akin to annexation of Kuwait?"

    NOTHING LIKE THAT, of course. The question mark is useful thing to spread the brainwashing. Here some facts the media never report: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s1usig

    July 15, 2014 at 2:06 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well put, derss. I totally agree.

      July 15, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  4. chri§§y

    Well of course you do since you are both the same person! You are not fooling anyone ya know.

    July 15, 2014 at 11:16 am | Reply
  5. Flixz

    Propaganda.

    July 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  6. Dick Okwakol

    There was no UN Resolution on the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Why don't they just invade Russia? When did they care about the UN? Russia took the prize and you cant do much about it. Live with it.

    July 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  7. Danro

    First, The Crimea and Kuwait are two different situations. The Crimea was historically a part of Russia and it was an anomaly that it was given to Ukraine. Also most Crimeans favored joining Russia. Now, what is the Crimea exactly and what is it worth is the better question. The John Oliver show explained it best and he said that it was an empty waste of land. So let the Russians have this waste of land and let them dump a bunch of money in this money pit.

    July 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  8. Walter Machisvo

    Why not condem the USA for invading iraq with out UN authorisation....Why Russia? Russia its protectings its interest in Crimea....NATO is just a barking dog with out teeth ...let me remind you...NATO is over rated....if they react by military force they will be exposed...Russia is military stronger than any Nato country except The USA but equal to the USA esp over ukraine since its on russia door step

    July 16, 2014 at 5:48 am | Reply
    • Tom

      Russia escaped condemnation for carpet bombing Chechnya and invading and ethnically cleansing parts of Georgia. It is an entirely different matter, however, when Russia invades and annexes part of another sovereign nation without any justification.

      July 18, 2014 at 4:05 am | Reply
  9. j. von hettlingen

    Kuwait is a tiny hydrocarbon rich state surrounded by larger rivals. Saddam's forces overran Kuwait. It was widely condemned internationally and regionally, The neighbouring states set in motion a series of initiatives to ensure that their own nations would not meet the same fate.
    That Western troops were sent to Iraq with UN-blessing was because China and Russia were weak then. Russia saw the demise of the USSR and China focused on economic reform. Today such any US-led military action will be vetoed.

    July 16, 2014 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Sorry, please read: That Western troops were sent to KUWAIT with UN-blessing.......

      July 16, 2014 at 9:12 am | Reply
  10. Common sense

    The news owned by corporations is bias and a mouth piece of the government.
    The Russian haters are nothing more than that, haters.
    Saddam was created by the CIA and had our blessing invading Kuwait.
    We are the biggest hipocrits and liars in the world.
    We should shut the hell up and focus on our problems at home.

    July 16, 2014 at 9:42 am | Reply
  11. gghjj

    Americans and their lies and propaganda are failing and falling world wide...nobody cares or you anymore.....no I am not Russian or Chinese or arab..... the new world is here and here to stay.....by the way California and new Mexico and other Mexican states will be back to Mexico sooner than you think.....referendums will happen........

    July 16, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  12. Joseph McCarthy

    When did we Americans give either the Iraqis or Afghans any referendum on whether they want to be U.S. occupied or not? Never! Then again, there are no ethnic Americans in living either country. What is ludicrous is the phony outrage that went out in Washington and the general public over Iraq's takeover of Kuwait but 12 years later went on to take over Iraq. Does that make sense?

    July 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  13. JJ Joseph

    What actually happened was that Russia took Crimea back after Kruschev gave it away. Ukraine is in a shambles (again) and Crimea is now in better hands. Crimea has been Russian for hundreds of years.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:22 am | Reply
  14. chri§§y

    Once you GIVE something away it is no longer yours so that arguement doesnt hold up!!!

    July 17, 2014 at 7:09 am | Reply
    • JJ Joseph

      Yes it is. If my uncle gives my stuff away, it's still mine.

      July 17, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  15. N. Whitbeck

    Isn't the situation more like how the U.S. obtained California?

    July 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Reply

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