Putin says U.S. guided by ‘rule of the gun’
'They have come to believe in their exceptionalism and their sense of being the chosen ones,' the Russian president said
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Monday of being guided in its foreign policy not by international law but by the “rule of the gun” in a televised address to the nation.
Speaking before parliament, Putin said the rights of ethnic Russians had been abused by the new Ukrainian government. He insisted that Crimea’s vote Sunday to join Russia was in line with international law and reflected its right for self-determination.
“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.”
Fiercely defending Russia’s move to annex Crimea, President Vladimir Putin said Russia had to respond to what he described as a Western plot to take Ukraine into its sphere of influence.
At the same time, the Russian leader said his nation didn’t want to move into other regions of Ukraine, saying “we don’t want division of Ukraine.”
Putin’s speech came just hours after he approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea, a key move in a flurry of steps to formally take over the Black Sea peninsula.
(With the Associated Press and Reuters)