Zelensky says he knows 'for certain' Crimea to return to Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is confident that Crimea will eventually be returned under Ukraine's jurisdiction.
"I know for certain that one day Crimea will definitely return to Ukraine and the separated Crimean Tatar families will meet at the same table [...] and then there are going to be only happy holidays in its history," Zelensky said at a meeting with the Ukrainian community in Ankara, Turkey, on Wednesday.
The Ukrainian community in Turkey has set up new divisions in the past several years, and their members should be thanked for helping Ukraine, Zelensky said.
Ukraine will pass legislation to make it easier for emigrees from Crimea to visit their relatives staying there, he said.
"I assure you that Ukraine won't leave the emigrees to face their problems alone. We also understand how important it is for you to visit your relatives and your homeland. We will soon endorse a regulation making it easier to get permission to visit Crimea," Zelensky said in Ankara.
Crimea remained an autonomous republic of Ukraine after the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became independent. The republic joined Russia in March 2014 following the national referendum. Ukraine declined to recognize results of the referendum and described the peninsula as its temporarily occupied territory. EU countries and the United States called Russia's actions annexation and imposed sanctions on a number of companies, politicians, and businessmen. Russia said the topic of Crimea was closed forever.