Russia annexed Crimean peninsula fearing that Crimea, being part of Ukraine, would join NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced this in his interview to Radio Europe and French TF1 Channel.
“We conducted an exclusively diplomatic and peaceful dialogue – I want to stress this – with our partners in Europe and the United States. In response to our attempts to hold such a dialogue and to negotiate an acceptable solution, they supported the anti-constitutional state coup in Ukraine, and following that we could not be sure that Ukraine would not become part of the North Atlantic military bloc. In that situation, we could not allow a historical part of the Russian territory with a predominantly ethnic Russian population to be incorporated into an international military alliance- Putin noted. I am sorry, but we couldn't act differently”- he said.