Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a defiant tone against “Western exceptionalism” in an address to a joint session of parliament in Moscow, calling for an end to “Cold War rhetoric” and respect for Russia’s national interests. "In the case of Ukraine, our western partners crossed the line. Their behavior was rude, irresponsible, and unprofessional,” Putin said. “They knew very well that millions of Russians live in both Crimea and the Ukraine. He added that “Russia found itself in a position that it could not back down from.” Putin earlier officially notified the Russian parliament and government of Crimea's request to be annexed. A Russian government website also confirmed Monday's reports that Putin had signed a draft bill effectively accepting Crimea's request to become part of Russia.