The Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko informed the reporters from the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger, that Putin annexed Crimea because of the fear to see the NATO warships in the port of Sevastopol.
“At that time, Ukraine has clearly expressed its intention to join NATO. The Alliance, for its part, did not distance itself from this intention and did not give us [Russia - Ed.] any guarantee that Ukraine will remain a non-aligned state ... In some months, NATO ships would have appeared in our port in Sevastopol. Russia could not let that happen, said the speaker of the Federation Council.
Russia occupied Crimea in February-March 2014, saying the rigged referendum on March 16 was the will of the Crimean people to join the Russian Federation. Most of the world has not recognized Crimea as a part of Russia. For Ukraine, the Crimea still remains temporarily occupied territory. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has officially announced February 20, 2014 the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. October 7, 2015 the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the corresponding law.