Calling out the United States for its hypocrisy in regards to Russian "interference" in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address from the Kremlin on Tuesday that U.S. foreign policy is guided, not by international law, but by the "rule of the gun."
Speaking before the Russian Federation Council, Putin announced his intention to make Crimea a part of the Russian Federation, arguing that the annexation followed the "will of the Crimean people," as evidenced by the results of the March 16 referendum vote. The move was made despite opposition from the United States and Europe which on Monday imposed their first financial sanctions against Moscow for its "interference" in Ukraine.
"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," Putin 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."
Following the address, the White House announced that President Obama will meet with European leaders next week in the Netherlands to discuss their next steps. British Prime Minister David Cameron responded to the speech saying, "Russia will face more serious consequences and I will push European leaders to agree [to] further EU measures."