Representational Image: President of Russia Vladimir PutinREUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Russian President Vladimir Putin took an aggressive stance against the West during his annual state of the nation address to the parliament on Thursday, defending the annexation of Crimea and stating that Russia's policy towards Ukraine is "right".

Accusing the West of using a "policy of interests", Putin said that West was being "hypocritical about human rights" in the face of a coup in Ukraine.

Putin stated that Russia will not get pulled into an arms race and also chided the USA's decision to abandon the ballistic missile defense treaty in 2002.

He said that the US plan for a missile defense systems in Europe is a "risk to the whole world" and that "no one can achieve military edge over Russia," according to Russian news agency TASS.

Russia is facing financial difficulties owing to western sanctions and falling oil prices, with the economy expected to fall into recession next year.

However, despite the sanctions, Putin said Russia 'is not going to stop relations with Europe or America'. He did not seem too wary of the sanctions as he spoke, claiming that 'sanctions are harmful, but they are harmful for everyone, including for those who initiate them'. 

Even as Western pressure over the Ukraine crisis continues to grow, Putin said Russia will treat it as a 'brotherly country'.

He even defended Russia's annexation of Crimea earlier this year, stating that the Crimean Parliament's declaration of independence was legitimate.

Also read