Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed on Friday that the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in March, would be returned to his country.
He described the loss of Crimea as a "significant problem" but told an international conference in Kiev: "Crimea will be back together with us, not necessarily... by military means."
Poroshenko said he hoped to secure a "special status" with NATO for the ex-Soviet country during his visit next week to the United States.
"In a few days I go to the United States where we have a very important meeting with the US Congress (and) the US president... We are also hoping in the very near future for a special status of a non-NATO member alliance," Poroshenko, speaking in English, told an international business forum in Kiev.
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