SIMFEROPOL, March 13. /TASS/. A delegation of 12 French politicians has arrived in Crimea on Wednesday night to attend celebrations marking the fifth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, a senior local lawmaker told TASS.
"I have just welcomed a French delegation of 12 people at Simferopol’s airport. It is led by Thierry Mariani. Leonid Slutsky, chair of the [Russian] State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee arrived with them," Alexei Chernyak said.
Earlier, Slutsky said that a delegation of French politicians headed by co-chair of the French-Russian Dialogue Association Thierry Mariani had come to Moscow. His visit will last until March 16.
Chernyak views the French politicians’ visit to Crimea as a milestone event. "It is a very significant visit, some sort of recognition. Let it be within people’s diplomacy, but it is the recognition of Crimea," he stressed.
According to Chernyak, the French delegation’s visit proves that "Crimea belongs to Russia and no sanctions can frighten [us]. Foreigners understand this and come here," he said. "It is of importance that the people have come who are convinced that the events which took place five years ago were legitimate and these issues are not a matter for discussion."
The local lawmaker pointed out that more and more foreign tourists visit the Black Sea peninsula. "As I’ve already said, representatives from 144 countries visited our peninsula in 2018," Chernyak added.
The French delegation has brought together honorary members of the French parliament, former and current members of the National Assembly, representatives of municipal authorities, including the mayors of Brienne-le-Chateau and Biguglia.