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For a New Russia : New Foreign Policy, Reparations and the Status of Crimea

Updated: Oct 2, 2022




Economy - Foreign policy - Constitution and values


​​These are the three pillars and the three greatest needs of the Russia of tomorrow. Indeed, the result of Russia's current policy will be the destruction of the Russian economy, its humiliation on the international scene and its internal chaos. The Nation as a whole would want for a new government to be able to settle these issues as quickly as possible. For the average citizen, the most important aspect will necessarily be the economy (therefore his well-being) but it turns out that these three pillars of Russian society are intimately linked:


For the economy to restart it will take a new opening on the world economy and massive investments (which cannot be made on the sole budget of the State) which necessarily implies a new foreign policy. For this foreign policy to be credible it will be necessary to present a new face to the world, it will therefore be necessary to profoundly reform Russia from within in order to convince others that we have changed and can be trusted again.


So there is a logical sequence between Economy - Foreign Policy - Constitution.


I will deal with constitutional ideas last because this debate will force us to think about the very essence of what Russia is, what it must be for at least the next three centuries, and how to avoid the mistakes of the past. . But today it is time to lay out the foundations of a new foreign policy. As we saw in the previous article, the Russian problem is imperialism. However, imperialism is part of the Russian soul and its identity. Moreover, I remain firmly convinced that Russia must conquer its rank in the world. So how do you reconcile these conflicting needs? The solution I propose is a substitution: the abandonment of Imperialism of domination to replace it with a model of attraction.


Model of attraction


What the Russia of tomorrow must aim for is a model of attraction towards its neighbours. To do this, it must become exemplary. Its values, its economy, its freedoms and human rights must be irreproachable. I am not saying that Russia must become like the European states (especially the states of Western Europe) but that it must go beyond them. Russia must have such an ideological and political coherence that it is capable of innovating in all fields, including those of human rights.


I will do a full article on the review and strengthening of human rights soon, but you have to understand that foreign policy, values, economy and attractiveness are inseparable. If Russia succeeds in its objectives, it will be the motor of similar progress in the countries bordering it and will therefore become the heart of integration in this post-Soviet space. My Master's thesis also ends on this note: no progress is possible in the post-Soviet space as long as Russia has not succeeded in reforming itself from within. (Note: my thesis is being amended and published on this blog and includes many elements that highlight the integrative dynamics of a coherent space that is unfortunately called “Soviet” and “post-Soviet”).


The main thing, however, is to understand that, like a European Union which is becoming more and more integrated with the Franco-German couple at its heart, Russia is capable of creating a new dynamic space between Europe and Asia. But to succeed in this area it must abandon its dreams of a return to the Soviet Union (understood as a unitary state with Moscow as the decision-making center) to an American-style soft-power model. And that means that its influence depends on its internal reforms (which the power refuses to carry out for obvious reasons: it would be the end of its existence and of its benefits from theft and state privileges).


The result would then be that Russia would be powerful (and more powerful than it is today) because it would be enviable and attractive. Not because she would be brutal and dominant. And to begin to build the foundations of this foreign policy, it would be necessary to carry out significant constitutional and internal reforms and to put forward a policy of goodwill in foreign policy. An important aspect will of course be the reform of the army, but we will come back to this another time.


I will therefore now focus on this new foreign policy by presenting the starting point of any new policy: reparations and the regulation of the current Ukrainian crisis.


Reparations and Regulation of the Ukrainian crisis


Reparations


As soon as the hostilities end, a rigorous plan of reparations from Russia to Ukraine will have to be put in place. Of course the context of the end of hostilities remains unclear but in the context of a Revolution it seems obvious that it will essentially be an evacuation of Russian troops from all the territories occupied since February 24, 2022 (Crimea is another story…) .


The reparations will first have to be calculated on objective parameters and it would be prudent to carry out this calculation either via Ukrainian and Russian estimates in joint work or via calculations carried out separately by the authorities of the two countries and then “arbitrated” by an Arbitration Tribunal instituted for the occasion and which will decide on the exact figure of these reparations.


At first glance, it seems to me that there are three main damages to be repaired: the material damage caused to Ukraine as a State/Nation/Community (therefore roads, bridges, buildings, etc.), material damage caused to people (destruction of private property, theft, crimes committed against the civilian and military population, etc.) and moral damage caused to people (post-traumatic stress, psychological problems, loss of a loved one, rape, etc. ).


All these damages must be repaired in their entirety and one can even add a form of “dissuasive fine” which would go beyond the final calculation to show as an example.


The nature of the reparations can be pecuniary (therefore a precise sum) just as it can have a concrete physical form (reconstruction carried out directly by Russian citizens : work of Russian personnel on Ukrainian territory with a view to repairing the damage).


But the most important gesture seems to me to be the need to create a direct link between the damage suffered and the reparation carried out by Russia. By this I mean that we have to get out of the classic pattern of reparations in international law, namely the payment of a sum from Government A to Government B which then redistributes this sum among its citizens.


What should be done is rather to pay directly the sum due to the Ukrainian Government for the damages caused to the Ukrainian Nation as a whole and then to set up a system of personal complaint for the Ukrainian citizens with the Russian authorities for their individual harm. This of course implies the establishment of a Temporary Administration of Reparations and open offices in Ukraine easily accessible to Ukrainian citizens.


Thus a Ukrainian, having in hand a document issued by the Ukrainian authorities and validated by an international body, could come to a Russian office to obtain compensation directly and without a national intermediary.


This mechanism would achieve two objectives: to show the Ukrainian people that it is Russia that pays directly for the damage it has caused (and this is an important step in the forgiveness that Russia must ask the Ukrainian people and without which there can be no resumption of bilateral relations between the two countries) and also also to avoid theft and embezzlement by the Ukrainian Government which could use the sums paid by Russia to relieve the victims of the War for other purposes (and this is not to criticize the Ukrainian Government but to avoid similar scenarios which have already occurred in other circumstances in the past).


But the payment of reparations is not enough, it is also necessary to regulate the territorial questions. And the big territorial question will be the fate of Crimea.


Crimea


The fate of Crimea can only be settled by one way: referendum.


The sovereign expression of the people of Crimea can settle the question of their membership in such a way that neither Russia nor Ukraine could challenge it. And as long as a referendum does not take place, the conflict will last.


The problem is that Crimea cannot remain Russian until Ukraine has renounced its rights to this territory, and it cannot be Ukrainian without prior guarantees to Russia because the people of Crimea are deeply attached to Russia and are predominantly Russian-speaking and of Russian origin.


It is important to understand here many rather complicated notions of international law (which I will develop in a dedicated article) but the summary can be said in this manner: without a treaty or without a binding decision of the International Court of Justice, Russian national law creates a situation which, even if it is contrary to the Ukrainian constitutional order and to Russia's international commitments (before 2014) cannot simply be ignored and brushed aside. The only law that should exist is one that takes into account the situation on the ground. To refute the post 2014 reality would be as effective as saying that it would have been necessary to have had an abortion so it is now necessary to kill the child because it is necessary to return to the previous situation… In other words, one cannot repair an injustice by another injustice . The only solution is therefore a reset: Crimea does not belong to Ukraine or Russia, and it is up to the people of Crimea to decide their own destiny. After all, Ukraine is fighting for Freedom and Democracy, just as the Russian New Government will. We can agree on the sovereign right of peoples to self-determination, can't we?


But Russia also cannot give this territory to Ukraine as it can give Kherson, Zaporozhye or other… Because that would be betraying its compatriots, selling its own citizens for a shameful peace and the loss of a strategic territory on the Black Sea and abandoning its fleet at Sevastopol…Such a betrayal would play into the hands of the revanchists who would eventually come to power and say “Putin was right” and could start an even more deadly and dangerous conflict. The abandonment of Crimea by a new power in Russia is purely suicidal. Whether liberal, socialist or otherwise, the new Russian Provisional Government will not be able to make such a decision.


It will therefore be necessary, after the signing of an armistice, to quickly put in place in the peace treaty between the two countries a provision which will provide for a referendum in the Crimea to settle the question definitively. The two countries being signatories of the said treaty, they will have to respect the result of the referendum.


But this referendum cannot be done without prior guarantees. It will have to be organized either by a joint committee between Russia and Ukraine, or completely organized by the UN. In addition, the interests of both countries must be guaranteed NO MATTER the result obtained, fro example:


  • If Crimea chooses to be Ukrainian, the property rights of Russian citizens in Crimea must be guaranteed. There shall be no discrimination between Russian and Ukrainian citizens in Crimea. A regime of free movement must exist between Ukraine and Russia with regard to Crimea. Russia maintains its fleet in Sevastopol against the payment of a rent.

  • If Crimea chooses to be Russian, the same guarantees (except for the Black Sea fleet) must be granted to the Ukrainian side.


Of course a third way is possible: the pure and simple independence of Crimea as a new neutral state between Russia and Ukraine. So the referendum will have to be done in two stages. First the question of whether the people of Crimea want to be independent or to be attached to one of the two states. And then, if the people of Crimea choose the second option, the question is asked which state they prefer to lay their allegiance to.


Conclusion


If the issue of reparations, Crimea's membership and the new model of foreign policy will be settled, then Russia will have shown good faith internationally and will have shown a new face. If its internal reforms are carried through, it can become a new center of attraction in the world. If his new liberal model can convince foreign powers, the sanctions will be lifted and the doubts about the Russians and New Russia will disappear. Thus internal reform, supported by foreign policy reform, can reopen economic progress. The New Russia will once again be able to breathe, improve, live peacefully and who knows? Perhaps even find its place among the Great World Powers. All this will be the result of a Revolution. A Revolution necessary for the survival of the Motherland, the survival of the world, and the guarantee of our future.


There is therefore only one solution: the Revolution. The Revolution that will change Russia to make it more respectable but also stronger. It will be an example of a model of foreign policy of attraction.


2 Comments


I enjoyed reading this detailed account on what is needed to repair Russia's international reputation and create economic growth for the country. Do you feel a large enough majority of the Russian people would agree to this path that you've laid out? If not, do you have any thoughts about what will need to happen in order for the majority of Russians to be amenable to such a plan?

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Thank you for the kind words. :) I think it's quite simple really. As long as they think they win, they will not consider it. But when the propaganda's spell is going to break (and it's starting already) then they'll seek a solution that can save the most things before they are lost forever. And I think my solution is the best possible outcome for everyone.

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