As the European Union announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Moscow, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko vowed Friday to reunite the Russian-held region of Crimea with the rest of the country.
The annexation of Crimea, which sparked a diplomatic crisis with the West, will be reversed not by military force, but by an "economic and democratic petition" Poroshenko declared.
"We have a significant problem. They said we lost the Crimea. No, we had an invasion in Crimea - but Crimea will be back together with us," he said, speaking at the 11th Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference in Kiev.
Speaking to CNBC, Poroshenko said the key issue for Ukraine is its "independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity" as he called for the total withdrawal of Russian troops from the border.
Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Western former president of the Ukraine, added that current relations with the Kremlin were in tatters as President Putin refuses to take part in discussions himself.