Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has opened the Yalta European Strategy meeting in the capital Kyiv as the traditional venue, the Livadia Palace in Yalta, Crimea, is under under Russian control.
But not for long according to the Ukrainian president:“We have a significant problem, they say that we lost Crimea. No, we have an invasion in Crimea, but Crimea will be back together with us…not by military means.”
He also sees EU membership for Ukraine coming ever closer: “Ukraine has never, ever had such a level of support in the world and in Europe. It would be simply impolite not to grant us membership perspective.”
Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament is at the meeting on the day a fresh tranche of EU sanctions against Russia have come into force.
They include blocking loans for five big state banks and curbing EU business with oil and defence companies.
Moscow says it is preparing a response. One Russian official implied cars imported from the EU could be targeted.