“Crimea is Sevastopol, the legendary city, the city of a great fate, a city-fortress and the birthplace of the Russian Black Sea navy,” he told lawmakers and top officials gathered in the Kremlin's ornate Saint George hall.Putin also said the United States is being guided in its foreign policy by the “rule of the gun.”
“Our Western partners headed by the United States prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun,” he said.Putin dismissed Western criticism of Crimea’s Sunday referendum as a manifestation of the West's double standards.
“They have come to believe in their exceptionalism and their sense of being the chosen ones. That they can decide the destinies of the world, that it is only them who can be right,” he added.
Treaty to accept the Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation signed - with video ~ link
Two killed in shooting near Crimea military research center, 'sniper detained' - with video ~ link ~ Two people – a self-defense member and a Ukrainian soldier – were killed and two others wounded after snipers opened fire from a partially inhabited building near a military research center in Simferopol. One sniper was detained, another is on the run.
As RT producer Lida Vasilevskaya arrived on the scene, the perimeter of the Ukrainian military topography and navigation center had already been surrounded by men in camouflage and the situation was "calm."
The local Interior Ministry said in a press release that shooting came from a house under construction opposite the center and targeted Crimean self-defense units as well the military center itself.
Ukrainian officer killed at Crimea base - with video ~ link ~ Ukraine's military says an officer has been killed in an attack on a base in Crimea, the first such death since pro-Russia forces took control in February. Ukraine has now authorised its troops to fire in self defence.
The attack came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Crimea signed a bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia.
Putin: Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia ~ link ~ With a sweep of his pen, President Vladimir Putin added Crimea to the map of Russia on Tuesday, describing the move as correcting past injustice and responding to what he called Western encroachment upon Russia's vital interests.
While his actions were met with cheers in Crimea and Russia, Ukraine's new government called Mr Putin a threat to the whole world and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned that the U.S. and Europe will impose further sanctions against Moscow.
Ukraine gearing up for war over the Crimea ~ link ~
Ukraine’s parliament agreed to earmark USD 600 million from the country’s budget for the purchase of weapons, reparation of military hardware and improvement of training over the coming three months.
'They don't want war': Activists block Ukrainian military from reaching Russian border ~ link ~ Dozens of volunteers from the Donbas Region in eastern Ukraine have been setting up checkpoints to prevent Ukrainian military personnel from reaching the Russian border, one of the organizers of the movement told RT. The unarmed activists are being coordinated by a local group called People’s Militia of Donbas and there are currently over 20 posts that have been set up on various roads in the region, the group’s Deputy Director Sergey Tsyplakov told RT.
The purpose of the posts is to prevent the Ukrainian military equipment from reaching the eastern border with Russia, averting further escalation of the conflict.“There are 10 to 30 people at each post and they continuously switch with one another,” Tsyplakov said.
The majority of the checkpoints have been set up alongside the police posts and “the road police is helping out.” But, in more isolated spots there are more volunteers taking initiative. “People are helping around with tents and firewood,” Tsyplakov added.
"So far the sanctions seem fairly toothless and much less severe than had been expected last week. From the market's perspective, the biggest risk was that the referendum would trigger tough sanctions against Russia that could lead to another cold war," Kathleen Brooks, research director at Forex.com, told AP.
Putin: Crimea similar to Kosovo, the West is rewriting its own rule book ~ link ~ Crimea’s secession from Ukraine was just like Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, and any arguments otherwise are just attempts to bend the West-advocated rules that were applied to the Kosovo case, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
The statements came as Putin was addressing the Russian parliament to convince lawmakers to ratify a treaty, which would make Crimea part of the Russian Federation.
Gorbachev: Crimea's referendum corrected Soviet-era mistake ~ link
Ukraine Turmoil LIVE UPDATES from RT ~ link ~
Instead of sanctions, Lavrov suggested returning to the constitutional agreements negotiated before Viktor Yanukovich’s ousting, and proposed that OSCE observers be sent in to monitor “provocations by radical forces targeting Russian speakers and citizens.”