Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Western reaction to Russia's reunification with the Crimea was "absolutely not adequate to what happened."
Putin said in an interview with German television channel ARD that he was only surprised to accusations of violation of international law. According to him, he is deeply convinced that Russia has not violated international law.
"Yeah, I do not deny, of course, the fact, we have never concealed it that our armed forces, frankly speaking, blocked the Ukrainian armed forces stationed in the Crimea, but not to force anyone to go to vote as it's impossible to do so. It was done to prevent bloodshed, to enable people to express their own attitude to how they want to determine their own future and their children's future," Putin said.
He also noted that the things that were done in the Crimea were similar to those that were done in Kosovo. Putin added that Kosovo declared independence on the basis of the decision of the Parliament, while in the Crimea, people took to the referendum, the results of which were "simply stunning." "What is democracy? We all know it. Demos - what's that? It's people. And democracy is the right of the people. In this case, the right to self-determination," said the Russian president.
Under an existent agreement, Russia was indeed entitled to increase the strength of the Black Sea fleet to 45,000 people. In addition, the government and the military of Ukraine acknowledged that the troops of the Russian Black Sea Fleet had the right to move freely in the Crimea, including with weapons, and "to take measures to ensure the security of their facilities, as well as the security of the peninsula."