President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia.
It comes after Sunday’s referendum in Crimea, which saw overwhelming support for a union with Russia.
Putin signed the law after a speech to Russia’s parliament, in which he hit back at his critics.
He condemned Ukraine’s “so-called” authorities, saying they had stolen power in a coup and had opened the way for “extremists” who would stop at nothing to determine the future of the country.
Addressing a joint session of Russia’s parliament, Putin said: “Those who were behind recent events, they were … preparing a coup d’etat, another one. They were planning to seize power, stopping at nothing. Terror, murder, pogroms were used.”
He called them “nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites” adding: “It is primarily they who are deciding how Ukraine lives today. The so-called Ukrainian authorities introduced a scandalous law on the revision of the language policy, which directly violated the rights of the national minorities.”
He said Moscow sees Western attempts to frighten Russia with sanctions as aggression and will retaliate.
Earlier Putin signed a decree which recognises Crimea as a sovereign and independent state. The Kremlin said the order would take immediate effect.
It follows the Crimean parliament’s earlier decision to declare independence from Ukraine after the region’s referendum on Sunday. That saw a massive 97 percent of voters back a break-away from Kyiv.
‘Rule of the gun’
The European Union, United States and Ukraine have all condemned the ballot as illegal.
In his speech to Russia’s parliament Putin said US foreign policy is dictated not by international law, but by the “right of the strong”.
“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.
“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.”
In addition to commandeering all Ukrainian state property, Crimea’s leaders have declared Ukrainian law invalid.
They also announced they will adopt the Russian rouble, and the clocks will move two hours forward to Moscow time at the end of March.
- 1Poland ‘has located’ buried Nazi treasure train
- 2Budapest vigil for 71 found dead on Austrian motorway
- 3Germany wants camps in Italy, Greece, Turkey to sort through migrants seeking asylum
- 4Tropical Storm Erika threatens Haiti and Dominican Republic with mud slides
- 5Venezuela-Colombia tensions rise as Caracas shuts more of border
- 1‘Dude, I tried to shoot him’: video shows moments after train attack in France
- 2Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 3New York: toplessness in Times Square could change forever
- 4US shootings: suspect dies of gunshot wounds
- 5UK: at least 7 dead, ‘more bodies may be found’ after Shoreham plane crash
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 3Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine
- 4Video footage shows massive explosion in Tianjin, China
- 5Ukraine puts top Russian general Gerasimov on ‘most wanted’ list
- 6International news | euronews, latest international news
- 7Why World Elephant Day matters
- 8Latest News Bulletin
- 9Who came out top in the US Republican television debate?
- 10UK: at least 7 dead after plane crashes into road in Brighton
- 11Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
- 12Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 13ISIL militant group claims to have killed Croatian hostage in Egypt
- 14Earth Overshoot Day…Pushing Mother Nature too far
- 15Windows 10, three weeks on: the good, the bad and the ugly
- 16Bringing the trolls out of the dark: Russian ‘troll’ awarded 1 rouble damages
- 17As ‘Daily Show’ Jon Stewart’s tenure ends, scholars say goodbye to their research topic
- 18Momentum for Mars: Astronauts say mission is inevitable
- 19Scientists find sinkhole cave under Mexico’s Kukulkan Castle Pyramid
- 20Migrant crisis pushing Greek island of Kos to the limit
Latest world news
Malaysia: Protesters demand resignation of PM Najib Razak over financial scandal
Palestinian women and children force Israeli soldier to release boy
Thai police arrest ‘Turkish’ man over Bangkok bombing
French motorway remains closed after travellers end blockade
‘Foreigner’ arrested over Bangkok bombing
Wires > News
- 17:55 CET Christian group occupies Philippine highway for second night
- 17:02 CET Myanmar bans parties from criticizing army in state media
- 16:20 CET Iran’s Rouhani says military power not affected by nuclear deal -…
- 16:03 CET Malaysia’s Mahathir joins protesters calling for PM to go
- 15:55 CET China grants amnesty to mark anniversary of WW2 victory
- 15:53 CET China grants amnesty to mark anniversary of WW2 victory
- 15:33 CET Turkish jets join U.S.-led coalition strikes on Islamic State
- 15:04 CET Egyptian court sentences three Al Jazeera journalists to prison