Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the talks with Russia are aimed at achieving peace in Ukraine, but bilateral relations cannot be normalized unless Crimea is returned.
"Our relations cannot be normalized without the return of Crimea. But we are peaceful people. And so the Ukrainian authorities, and I, as president, have offered a peace plan," he said at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on Thursday. Poroshenko said that on Wednesday during a telephone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin expressed his support for the Ukrainian president's peace plan. However, Kyiv expects such support in deeds, not just in words, Poroshenko said. "We are waiting for such actions. Step up the border protection, put an end to the illegal flow of equipment, stop recruiting mercenaries and lastly, withdraw the troops," the Ukrainian president said.