KIEV: The Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, used his inaugural address to stress that the country would not give up Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from it in March.
In a combative speech yesterday following his swearing-in, Poroshenko said: “Crimea was, is, and will be Ukrainian.” 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 federalised state as advocated by Moscow.
Poroshenko also said he intended to sign the economic part of an association agreement with the European Union, as a first step towards full membership.
And the 48-year-old promised an amnesty “for those who do not have blood on their hands” in an apparent appeal to both separatist, pro-Russia insurgents and to the nationalist groups that oppose them. He said that he wanted neither war, nor revenge.