Despite the very tangible political or economic benefits it could bring, Russia never considered peacefully ceding any of its remaining territorial holdings to its neighbours. During the 1998 financial crisis for example, President Boris Yeltsin never thought of selling the sparsely populated, almost vestigial property of Sakhalin Island in the north Pacific to a cash-rich, land-poor Japan, even as Russia desperately needed hard currency to prop up a crashing ruble. If and when Crimea votes to leave Ukraine for Russia, Western economic sanctions will surely follow if Russia happily embraces the peninsula.
Sam Singh is a journalist and filmmaker who worked for the United Nations Development Programme and the Kyiv Post in Kyiv, Ukraine. He has written for the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Edmonton Journal, Maisonneuve and other publications. He has a Masters in Journalism from Carleton University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
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