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.
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 2Turkey said to offer Russia cooperation over Syria to reduce tension
- 3Taking the Arctic route: migrants cycle from Russia to Norway
- 4Former head of the UN General Assembly charged with corruption
- 5German media demands the ‘real’ numbers for the refugee influx
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 23D, 360° virtual reality is ready to launch – on an adult film
- 3France claims Russian jets have struck rebel, not IS forces in Homs
- 4Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 5Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 9Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 10Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 11Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 12International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 13Denmark: launches anti-migrant ad campaign
- 14Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 15Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 16International news | euronews, latest international news
- 17Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 18Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 19Migrant tripped up in Hungary gets Spanish football job
- 20[Live] All the Rugby World Cup news in one place
Latest world news
Israel agents ‘incite’ stone-throwing in West Bank
Happy Birthday Mr President – Putin turns 63 winning a game of hockey
Syria: We believe that Russia has the wrong strategy, says US
Anti-austerity protesters battle police in Brussels
MSF holds US command in Afghanistan to account over hospital bombing
Wires > News
- 21:08 CET Brazil’s Rousseff suffers new setback over austerity
- 21:05 CET Less than half of Ivorian candidates sign election code of conduct
- 20:49 CET Merkel, Hollande plead for unity in face of EU crises
- 20:44 CET Obama apologises for Afghan hospital attack, MSF demands…
- 20:37 CET Russia backs Syrian forces in major assault on insurgents
- 20:20 CET Private palaces: Russia moves to hide property data
- 19:51 CET Netanyahu cancels German visit as violence spreads across Israel
- 19:48 CET Ukraine says four soldiers wounded in rebel attack despite truce