He stated this in an interview with French media.
"In these conditions to allow a historical Russian territory with a predominantly ethnic Russian population to go in there, in some sort of international military alliance, despite the fact that the residents of Crimea want to be a part of Russia, - forgive me, we could not have done otherwise," said Putin .
According to him, there was no guarantee that tomorrow Ukraine would not become a part of the North Atlantic military bloc.
Putin also stated that he still worries about a possible approximation of NATO infrastructure to the borders of the Russian Federation at the expense of Ukraine. " When we talk about Ukraine and military blocs, it is naturally disturbing, because in this case, if, let's say, Ukraine joins NATO, the military infrastructure comes next to the Russian borders. We cannot be indifferent in this regard," said Putin .
At the same time, Putin is convinced that Russia is currently holding a "peaceful dialogue" with the world.
"I want everything to be quite clear and quite honest. We have been engaged in a dialogue with our partners - both Europeans and Americans - exclusively through peaceful means," said the president of the Russian Federation.