Police Chief Hætta: - Annexation of the Crimea A Necessity for Russia

- Sett fra Russlands side var det ingen andre alternativer enn å gå inn i Krim slik de gjorde, sier politimester i Finnmark, Ellen Katrine Hætta. (Foto: Jonas Karlsbakk/Barentssekratariatet).

- From a Russian point of view, there were no other options but to enter the Crimea like they did, says Finnmark County Police Chief Ellen Katrine Hætta. (Photo: Jonas Karlsbakk/The Barents Secretariat)

NATO’s expansion plans and Putin’s power considerations made the annexation of the Crimea a necessity for Russia, says Finnmark County Police Chief Ellen Katrine Hætta.

In a podcast from the Barents Secretariat, "Borderline", the Finnmark County Police Chief elaborates on why, she argues, from  a Russian point of view, it was necessary to claim the Crimea the way it was done in 2014.

- Not surprised at all

- I was not at all surprised by the annexation of the Crimea, Ellen Katrine Hætta says in the podcast. – To me, that was more or less to be expected as there were no other solutions at the time.

The Police Chief, who says she cooperates closely and well with Russian police and security forces, stresses that understanding it is one thing; accepting it is a quite different one.

Important for Putin’s power

- I understand that Norway had to participate in the EU’s sanctions following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. However, it is also important to understand why it was important for Russia to take over the Crimea in this way.

NATO was expanding, and it was important to consolidate Putin’s power. It was also important to right the wrong taht was done, or the wrong they [the Russians] perceived to have been done, in 1954, when the Crimea was handed over to the Ukraine, Hætta says.

- It was a necessity

She argues that it is important and necessary to fully understand the Russian position at this time [of the annexation of the Crimea, journ.note].

- Because they had no other options. If they were to still control the Crimea and their bases there, it was simply a necessity. One has to understand it, though one does not have to accept it.

And it has not been accepted, neither by Norway nor by Europe, which is why the sanctions are in place, says Finnmark Police Chief Ellen Katrine Hætta in the Barents Secretariat’s podcast.