KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a combative inaugural speech on Saturday that Ukraine would not give up Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from it in March.
“Crimea was, is, and will be Ukrainian,” Poroshenko said in an emotional address after his swearing-in. He was greeted with a standing ovation.
He stressed the unity of Ukraine, which is fighting a pro-Russian separatist uprising in the east, and said it would not become a federalized state as advocated by Moscow.
Poroshenko also said he intended very soon to sign the economic part of an association agreement with the European Union, as a first step towards full membership.
Reporting by Richard Balmforth and Lidia Kelly; writing by Mark Trevelyan