Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has said that the idea of Crimea’s return by force is unrealistic, but he hopes for creating an international situation where Crimea would be a burden for Russia too heavy to carry.
"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," Poroshenko said.
After the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in February 2014 mass protests in Crimea and the east of Ukraine followed. The authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 held referendums on the issue of reunification with Russia. Turnouts exceeded 80%. As many as 96.7% and 95.6% of the voters respectively voted for reunification with Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 18, 2014 signed a treaty on the admission of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia. Russia’s Federal Assembly ratified it on March 21. In defiance of the unequivocal results Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.