In the debate over whether or not Russia’s invasion of Crimea is legal, former Texas Representative Ron Paul is lining up with Vladimir Putin saying that the “law is on his side.”
Paul made his comments on Wednesday night’s broadcast of Fox Business Network’s The Independent during a discussion on Ukraine in which Paul claimed that the U.S. and its allies are hypocrites.
The Texan accused the West of aiding in the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s government. He said that Russia’s Putin has a claim on Crimea because of the lease Russia has for its warm-water naval base in the city of Sevastopol.
“This whole thing that Putin is the big cause of the trouble, and yet there’s pretty good evidence that the Europeans as well as the American government had to contrive to have the overthrow of a government that most people say had been elected,” the former Congressman began. “And then for them to come along and say, ‘Well, it’s an illegal government’ – and they want to have a referendum now, you know, in Crimea – ‘Oh, no, that’s not permissible.’ And they say everything that Putin does is illegal. He’s no angel, but actually he has some law on his side.”
Paul then said that Russia’s leases, agreements, and treaties for its naval base in Crimea give it a legal basis for a military presence in Crimea. He then claimed that Russia could claim that the U.S. is hypocritical because it has a military lease with Cuba – Russia could claim that the U.S. was “occupying Guantanamo illegally.”
FBN’s Matt Welch asked how Paul could justify Putin’s massing of armies and threats in the region, but Paul replied that it was the U.S. and the West doing the threatening. “We’re there,” he said.
Paul then claimed that the invasion of Crimea is being used by the West as an excuse to place missiles “in Russia’s backyard.”
Crimea has a right to secede from Ukraine, in any case, Paul insisted.
“I think people have a right of self-determination,” he said, “It’s written into international law, it’s a moral principle, and of course if you believe in limited government everybody should have a right to minimize their government; there should be a right of secession. We loved secession when we seceded from Great Britain, and we loved secession when the Soviet Union broke up, so why not have the breakup of these countries?”
Finally, Paul argued that the upcoming referendum in Crimea on whether or not to join Russia and secede from Ukraine sounds like a “democratic” idea.