A delegation of French lawmakers visited Crimea on July 23-24, 2015
MP Thierry Mariani, who led the group of 10 politicians, said the citizens of Crimea were “reassured” they “don’t have to face the same situation as the people who live in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk” – the eastern areas of Ukraine devastated by war waged by the Kiev authorities against the rebels there.
“What we want to say is that the majority of people we have met, various contacts, seemed happy to be back in Russia,”he said at the press conference organized by TASS.
“Crimea is an absolutely peaceful region,” said French MP Claude Goasguen. The people in Crimea cannot be criticized for the fact that the referendum brought peace to them, he added.
Goasguen stressed the Crimean authorities had the absolute right to organize the referendum last year, explaining “the coup in Ukraine was staged not by the people from Crimea, but by those in Maidan.”
The referendum on March 16, 2014, had a record turnout of over 80 percent, with 96.7 percent of Crimean residents voting in favor of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia.
The French lawmakers’ Crimean trip was the first visit by Western politicians to the region since it became part of Russia.
The next is an Italian delegation will visit Crimea in October 2015.
The parliamentarian Manlio de Stefano has confirmed the planned visit.
“Anyway I can confirm our visit,” de Stefano, a member of the Five Star Movement party, told Sputnik.