“Enough to feed the Crimea!”. It is hard to believe that this slogan will soon win hearts and minds of Russian public, but I’m sure that many people who were really glad to see The Crimea returning back to Russia, then started to think that their Motherland and themselves should support the peninsula not only just by good attitude, but with their cash flow. And, indeed, for the Crimea it was created a separate ministry with a budget up to 15 billion rubles. The Crimea, from the phenomenon of foreign policy now moved into internal affairs, putting a number of issues for Russia. Mostly, questions about the effectiveness of the state, which should be provided with good answers.
The Crimea is now compared with Abkhazia and South Osetia: they say, «to promise is to promise», but what about building roads and not leaving the state in vegetate backwater? In Abkhazia and South Osetia problems really exist, and the recovery is not as rapid as we would like. But there is a fundamental difference from the Crimean case. The development of these republics is stalling mainly for internal reasons, and in some cases – psychological in nature. In Tskhinvali we can often hear the words, “Why to restore everything, if Georgians will come soon again, and we will have to fight?”. Besides, unrecognition by most of the countries is affecting the recovery process. It’s not applicable for the Crimea – peninsula citizens did not fight with anyone and the recognition of Russia in the world is completely without any doubts.
The main obstacle of the development of the Crimea, anyway, is corruption. Only annual financial support to the new subject should be drawn up to 3 billion rubles — should we say, how many would like to balkanize this amount for themseves? However, the peninsula is now not just a geographical area, it is a political phenomenon, which will attract attention not only of the rest of Russia, but other countries too. For many people, especially abroad, it will become a long-running Sochi Olympics – any puncture, breakdown, unopened ring and jammed lock will be accompanied by a malevolent “And we said! Roissya vperde!” (coming from Rossiya, vpered). There is only one answer – the mobilization of resources: economic, human, political – which is impossible without improving the efficiency of public administration and reducing the level of corruption. The Crimea should become “the kick”, which would transfer the talks about fighting with corruption into reality. It is necessary that a reunion with the Crimea, which received such enthusiasm on the both sides of the Kerch Channel, would not go to disappointment.
And this inspiration is another important thing that the Crimea gave to Russia. In a sense, the Crimea became an example of sincerity for “old” Russia. “Another paradoxical moment – in the majority of citizens of the Crimea, Russia recieves real patriots. Not kvass-patriots, not nomenclature, not paid and hypocritical, but real ones – who are usually only a dream of any guidance,” – writes on his social network page one of the Cremean citizens, who was born, grew up and now lives in Simferopol. Indeed, as much sense as the Crimeans dedicated in Russian tricolour, walking with it in the streets and hanging it out on the walls – surely, is not dedicated by not a single Russian “patriot”, marching on rallies and marches, irrespective of his or her political orientation.
Finally, the Crimea, in a very practical way, helped not only Russia, but also many other states, especially in former Soviet countries. After the coming of the new government in Kiev in February this year, Ukraine has become a rapidly developing fourth Baltic country, which state system is based on the banal, even vulgar nationalism, opposing itself to Russia and their joint history. In Ukraine lined up politicians, proposing to repeal the law on regional languages, to break off diplomatic relations with Russia, to join NATO, etc. Briefly, as they say in one of the poetic products of Ukrainian revolution, “Never ever we and you will become brothers-in-arms by homeland or mother”. This post-Soviet nationalism was fully supported by Baltic politicians. As long as the Crimea just slammed the door.
Echoe from the Crimean door was heard quite clearly on the Baltic Sea. Shortly thereafter, President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Saeima even issued a joint statement in which they stressed that Latvia “values and protects diverse cultures and languages – as Latvians and other nationalities.” But only a month earlier Latvian government announced a transfer of all national minorities schools into Latvian language education – but suddenly decided to postpone the reform for the time being.
In Estonia, they went further: not just slowed the degree of nationalism, but even went towards to “foreigners”. Updated in the end of March, the Government of the Republic included in their coalition agreement the intention to simplify the Estonian citizenship exam conditions for non-citizens over 65 years old – nowadays the written exam on the Estonian language for this age group will be replaced with the oral interview. Moreover – they decided to grant Estonian citizenship for about a thousand children, both of whose parents are stateless. Literally, unprecedented generosity! And, of course, “Crimea has nothing to do in that”.
In fact, even very much. In this mirror of the Crimea reflect all the recurrent problems of post-Soviet states (actually, and the problems of international relations were revealed as never before in the past 20 years). The Crimea is pointing to these problems and makes us decide. Finally, who is helping whom?