Russia and Crimea are now inseparable-treaty signed
Earnest March 18, 2014
Media MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders have signed reunification
making Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of the Russian
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
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