Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised in an address to the nation on Monday that Ukraine would restore its control over Crimea, Meduza.io reported.
"I will not tell you today that this will happen quickly or easily," Poroshenko said. "But it will definitely happen." He has said that Ukraine will build a new Crimea, one that will safeguard the rights and interests of its all inhabitants, "regardless of their ethnic, linguistic, or religious heritage."
Poroshenko also made reference to the referendum that resulted in Crimea's secession from Ukraine and accession to the Russian Federation, describing it as "cynical" and "nothing more than a farce designed to conceal Russia's open aggression towards Ukraine."
The referendum, which took place on 16 March 2014, has been widely condemned as illegal by the international community; though Russia has repeatedly asserted its legitimacy, on the basis of a people's right to self-determination.
The address was delivered eleven days after the fragile cease-fire agreement was concluded at the Minsk talks between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Discussion of Crimea's future was absent from the agenda.