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Six countries support Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea

Since Russia's illegal seizure and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine on March 18, 2014, six countries have come out in support of Moscow
Six countries support Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea

Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea have officially supported Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Each nation is generally considered a rogue or a teetering state with deep historical roots connecting it to Russia and the former Soviet Union, Jeremy Bender wrote for the Business Insider.

Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have maintained close military and economic ties to Moscow.

“Russia is using power projection in an attempt to erode U.S. leadership and challenge U.S. influence in the Western Hemisphere … Russia has courted Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to gain access to air bases and ports for resupply of Russian naval assets and strategic bombers operating in the Western Hemispher,” Gen. John Kelly, former head of the US Southern Command, said on March 12, 2015.

Syria, meanwhile, has been in a state of civil war since 2011. The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has stayed in power in large part because of arms transfers and joint military operations with Russia.

Russia, likewise, has played a role in shielding North Korea from the international community. Earlier in May, Moscow blocked a statement from the UN Security Council against North Korea over its missile tests. The relationship between Moscow and Pyongyang is likely to continue to grow as Russia seeks to challenge US policy abroad and as China increasingly grows frustrated with the rogue nation.

Afghanistan’s support of the annexation is the most surprising. Only a generation ago, the Soviet Union was brutally occupying Afghanistan, and the US military and NATO are still present in the country now. But Afghanistan announced its support of the Crimean annexation in 2014 under then President Hamid Karzai.

Karzai, toward the end of his presidency, increasingly sought to distance Afghanistan from the West. His support of the Crimean annexation was likely an attempt to differentiate Kabul from Washington.