POLITICS

Putin defies Obama in power play

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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DEVELOPING:  Reuters: “President Vladimir Putin and two Crimean leaders signed a treaty on Tuesday on making the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula a part of Russia.”

PUTIN DEFIES OBAMA, PUSHES AHEAD WITH POWER PLAY
Russian President Vladimir Putin opened an address to the Russian parliament on the annexation of Crimea today with the words “a round of applause” for Crimea. Doesn’t sound like those 11 of Vlad’s Russian and Ukrainian “cronies” that President Obama slapped with sanctions on Monday are putting much pressure on Putin to de-escalate the growing tensions over Crimea’s breakaway vote to separate from Ukraine and join Mother Russia. In fact, just hours after Obama announced the sanctions freezing the U.S. assets of his confidants, Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as a “sovereign and independent state.”

Railing against the ‘chosen ones’ - That move set the stage for the Russian president to formally propose the Ukrainian province’s annexation before Russia’s parliament. While Putin claimed Russia would never seek to start a confrontation with the West, his ramped up rhetoric suggests he holds his American counterpart and U.S. allies in contempt over the Ukraine crisis. “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.”

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