Russian president Vladimir Putin said that he will never give Crimea back to Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin in an interview with Austria’s ORF broadcasting corporation has said that under no circumstances would he give Crimea back to Ukraine.

Putin reiterated, "Crimea gained independence not as a result of the invasion of Russian troops, but through the will of the people of Crimea expressed in an open referendum".

"When an unconstitutional armed coup happened in Ukraine, power was seized by force, our army was legally in Crimea, our military base was there under an agreement," Russian President said.

"The first thing we did was to increase our contingent to protect our Armed Forces there, our military facilities, where, as we have seen, various assaults and encroachments were in preparation. That is how it all began," Putin added.

"Our servicemen were always there. Like I said before - they were there, they did not participate in anything," Russian President noted.

"However, when the spiral of unconstitutional actions in Ukraine began twisting, when people in Crimea thought they were in danger, when nationalists were sent there by trains, started blocking buses and road transport, people wanted to protect themselves," Putin said.

"This is how everything began, the process started in the parliament of Crimea to determine its independence from Ukraine," Putin added.

Russian President noted that the UN Charter does not prohibit these actions, but on the contrary, "the right of nations to self-determination is explicitly stated" there.


"Therefore, there was nothing illegal", the Russian president said.

Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and become part of Russia following the coup in Kiev.

Putin’s decision on Crimea is believed to have significantly increased his popularity as many Russians see him as a leader who restored their country’s status as a global super power while resisting US interference in its backdoor.