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    Scottish Yes Vote Would Justify Eastern Ukraine Independence: US Think Tank

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    Scotland on the Eve of Independence Referendum (210)
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    Scottish independence would justify Crimea's separation from Ukraine and the secessionist movement in Eastern Ukraine, according to the Gatestone Institute, an American think tank.

    MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - Scottish independence would justify Crimea's separation from Ukraine and the secessionist movement in Eastern Ukraine, according to the Gatestone Institute, an American think tank.

    "While NATO has refused to recognize the separation of Crimea from Ukraine, Scottish independence from Britain following a referendum deprives NATO of an important argument… There is little doubt that if this week's referendum allows Scotland to become independent from Britain, the West loses the argument to deprive Crimea or Eastern Ukraine of the right to become independent after referendums. Kiev, obviously, will have to accept such referendums, because if London has allowed a referendum, what argument could Kiev invoke to refuse it?" writes Peter Martino, a fellow of The Gatestone Institute, formerly known as Stonegate Institute and Hudson New York.

    According to Martino, Scotland's independence would undoubtedly "bring national borders into question all over Europe," let alone "the fragile boundaries" of the Ukrainian state. "If the Scots vote 'Yes' on Thursday, the repercussions will be felt as far as Donetsk," the expert emphasizes.

    Peter Martino refers to "the Kosovo precedent" citing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who warned his Western counterparts in 2008 that their recognition of Kosovo's independence "would be the beginning of the end for Europe."

    Thomas de Waal, a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment, admits that Kosovo "did indeed set a bad precedent."

    "The country's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia, which the International Court of Justice deemed did not violate international law, violated the principle that a breakaway territory is not to be recognized as independent without the consent of its former parent," the British journalist wrote in his March, 2014 Wall Street Journal article, "Toward a Scottish Solution for Crimea", just before the Crimean referendum.

    All the arguments being used to contrast the cases of Scotland and Kosovo with the situation in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine look unconvincing and once again demonstrate Western "double standards".

    Meanwhile, Donetsk and Luhansk are carefully eyeing the secessionist movements in Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque country, claiming that the Ukrainian crisis could be solved peacefully and in accordance with International law. "Why isn't England bombing the Scottish separatists," ask the rebels mockingly.

    Crimea's Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov stressed that the West "would have no other option," but to recognize Crimea's independence from Ukraine if it accepts a Scottish Yes vote.

    Indeed, Russian-speaking ethnic minorities in eastern Ukraine would gain the moral ground to argue about their right to national self-determination due to Scotland's independence, notes Peter Martino, adding that "a Scottish precedent would seriously handicap European governments in their attempts to convince public opinion of the need for a strong stance against Russia."

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    Scotland on the Eve of Independence Referendum (210)
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    referendum, independence referendum, independence, Donetsk Region, Scotland, Kosovo
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