Russian President Vladimir Putin is defending his decision to annex Crimea, and vowing to repair Russia’s economy within two years.
“How can they say that it was unjust?” (to take Crimea) Putin asked according to a translator. “Use for example, take Texas from Mexico, it was the right thing to do, and if we manage our own territories then it unjust to them.”
Putin pointed out that the United States and Western countries were trying to “chain the bear” of Russia, calling their criticism “ridiculous.”
“When they manage to chain the bear they will take out his fangs and claws,” he said, referring to nuclear deterrence.
“If you take out the bear’s fangs and claws, the bear will not be able to do anything, it will just be a stuffed animal. What we are trying to do at the moment is to maintain our sovereignty and our independence.
Putin said that the economic troubles suffered by Russia in recent days was about 25 to 30 percent a result of the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and Western European countries. Another reason, he says, is low oil and natural gas prices.
He added that it was important to maintain Russia’s sovereignty if it wanted to improve the country’s economic situation.
“If we want to do that we have to further work,” he said. “Do we want to do that or do we want our bear to become just a stuffed animal? This is our choice and it has nothing to do with the Crimea.”