"You can't call the same thing black one day and white the next," says Russian President Putin, making his case for Western hypocrisy as it regards events in Ukraine. "We are grateful to those who understand our steps in Crimea like China and India ... In the case of Ukraine, our Western partners have crossed a line, a red line. They've been unprofessional, they've been irresponsible."
Breaking while Putin speaks: Russia cancels its March 19 bond auction.
The upshot: Russia looks like it's annexing Crimea and the West will complain and unleash a sanction or two, but not much more. Markets are pleased, with stock index futures reversing a small early decline to turn higher - S&P 500 (SPY) +0.4%. Russia's Micex heads up as well, now +1.6%. RSX +1.5% premarket. Gold slips 1% to $1,359. GLD -0.7%.
Update: Following the speech, Putin signs a decree annexing Crimea to Russia.