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Putin: Russia and Crimea are now inseparable-treaty signed



by Joseph Earnest  March 18, 2014


Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders have signed reunification treaties making Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of the Russian Federation.

Addressing a special joint session of the Russian parliament ahead of the signing ceremony on March 18, Putin said to a standing ovation that "in the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia."

He said Crimea's referendum on March 16 was democratic and in full accordance with international law. He said results of the referendum -- in which Crimea's authorities said 97 percent of voters backed joining Russia -- were "fully convincing."

He said Russia "could not ignore the pleas [for help]. We could not leave Crimea and its people in trouble. It would have been nothing short of betrayal." Watch video:



The treaties were signed on March 18 by Putin; regional parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov; Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov; and Sevastopol's mayor, Aleksei Chaly.

He accused the West of reverting to Cold War containment and said Western states had crossed a "red line" over Ukraine.

"In their practical policies, our Western partners--spearheaded by the United States of America -- prefer the rule of the strong to international law," Putin said. "They came to believe in their exclusivity, in being the chosen ones. They feel they are allowed to rule the fate of the world and that they are the only ones to always be right."

Speaking on a visit to NATO ally Poland, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden condemned Russia's adoption of Ukraine's Crimea as "nothing but a land grab."

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 Source: Radio Free Europe











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