Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Putin: Crimea needs support of strong Russian sovereignty

Euroradio

Russia does not want to divide Ukraine, Russian president claims.

The Russian President made a speech before the State Duma members, Council of the Federation, heads of the regions of the Russian Federation and representatives of the civil community. He responded to the appeal of the Crimean Parliament and Sevastopol about joining Russia.

"We could not leave Crimeans in deep waters. It would be a crime,” the Russian President claimed. There was no Russian intervention into Crimea, Putin said: Russia only strengthened their troops but did not even reach the maximum number of 25 thousand soldiers. Moreover, not a single shot had been heard in Crimea, Putin noted.

"We do not want to divide Ukraine. Crimea has always been and will be Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar. It will be a home for many people like it has been for hundreds of years. But it will never belong to Bandera's nationalist movement followers. Crimea is our common heritage. It needs the support of strong and steady sovereignty and it can only be the Russian sovereignty nowadays,” Vladimir Putin claimed.

At the same time, the Russian leader’s speech was directed against the West and USA: “The planet has not become more stable since the bipolar system collapsed.”

Vladimir Putin and the administration of the self-declared Republic of Crimea signed the document about the annexation of Crimea by Russia after the speech. Two new subjects were included in the Russian Federation – the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.