Image by Kathrin Mobius
Ukrainian President Pedro Poroshenko said in a speech to the Ukrainian parliament today that it was unrealistic that Crimea would be returned to Ukraine by force or by any Russian decision to allow the peninsula to come back under Ukrainian control. However, he did declare his intention to make the annexation a heavy burden for Russia to carry in international courts.
“Can we get Crimea back by force? Will it be realistic? No,” he said in his annual message to the Ukrainian parliament. “Will Russia withdraw from their of its own accord? No.”
“But we can create conditions where Crimea would be a burden for Moscow too heavy to carry. And we will do everything for that using international courts, the United Nations and UNESCO,” reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 after the Maidan Revolution which ousted pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanykovych, who now lives in Moscow. The conflict in East Ukraine started shortly afterwards. Over 10,000 people have died in the Donbass region since the civil war began.
European powers along with Russia, the United States, and Ukraine have agreed to a ceasefire in Minsk, Belarus but the stipulations of the agreement have not been implemented. Violence still rages and soldiers on both sides die regularly. Donbass is one of the major ‘frozen conflicts’ of the Soviet Union.