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SEVASTOPOL, July 24. /TASS/. State Duma deputy Joseph Kobzon, who is a veteran star of the Russian/Soviet pop stage, Thursday gave a musical greeting to the French parliamentary deputies and senators visiting the Republic of Crimea, which reunited with Russia in March 2014 upon the results of a popular referendum.
As he took the floor at a session of government of the federal city of Sevastopol, Kobzon sang a song titled ‘Recalling the Normandie-Niemen Regiment’, the lyrics of which start with the line ‘French speech worries me as I recall the long-gone years’.
"I’m really glad to see you here," he said addressing the delegation members. "I’ve performed together with Mireille Mathieu and Charles Aznavour in the past. They are always highly welcome guests here. They are my friends who will never fall under any sanctions."
"Now the officials invite you to visit sacred places - the Eternal Flames and the monument to Admiral Nakhimov," he said.
After that the visitors took part in the laying of flowers at the Memorial of Heroic Defense of Sevastopol in 1941-1942 and to the monument to Admiral Pavel Nakhimov located in front of the memorial.
As they were walking in near the monument, they met with several residents of the city. One of them told Thierry Mariani, the head of the delegation that Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia had become the most joyful event for all residents of the city.
The man complained that very little was said about events in Crimea in France and the media were peddling a highly distorted picture of the situation.
"This has always been a Russian city and Europe has always known that Sevastopol is Russia’s pride," the passerby said.
Thierry Mariani thanked everyone for the warm words and reception and shook hands with all the residents of Sevastopol who had spoken to him.
After the monument, the delegation visited the Alliance Francaise cultural center.