Poroshenko pledges to return Crimea to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pledged to bring Crimea back under Ukraine's control.

"The Ukrainian state will regain control over this temporarily occupied territory. I am not saying that this will be a simple thing to do which we will go through quickly. But this will happen by all means. Together we will build a new Crimea, where the rights and interests of Crimea's indigenous population and of all residents irrespective of their ethnicity, language and religion, will be guaranteed," Poroshenko said in an appeal to the Ukrainian people circulated in Kiev on Monday.

The events of February 23 2014 and the referendum on Crimea's joining Russia were a cynical act aimed at seizing Crimea - an integral part of the Ukrainian state," the statement says.

"The Ukrainian state will not under any circumstances recognize the results of this null act, which defied international law and Ukraine's national legislation," the Ukrainian president said.

"Ukraine will never give up its sovereign right to Crimea and will defend the rights of the people who live there. The Ukrainian leadership, politicians and civil society have reached a complete consensus on this. We enjoy absolute support for this course from other states and from international organizations," Poroshenko said.

The Russian leadership has said on many occasions that the people of Crimea, after a state coup in Kiуv, backed by the West, used the right to self-determination stipulated in international law and opted for reintegration with Russia, a decision which cannot be reviewed.


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