CAIRO, January 27. /TASS/. Member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani will visit Crimea and Donbas in response to the resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that allegedly imposes sanctions against European deputies for such visits, Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee’s chairman Alexey Pushkov said on Wednesday.
"Famous French deputy Thierry Mariani who was criticized in PACE for heading the delegation of French parliamentarians to Crimea, told me that in response to this resolution he wants to visit Crimea once again with a group of French deputies. He also wants to take them to Donbas by June," Pushkov, who heads the Russian delegation to PACE, said.
Mariani will thus respond to the amendment proposed by Ukraine and adopted by PACE "demonstrating that it is insignificant, and it will not have any consequences for his own activities and activities of those who considers it necessary to visit Crimea or Donbas," Pushkov noted.
"This is the response of a renowned French deputy to this amendment," the Russian lawmaker stressed adding that PACE only took note of the "blacklists" that existed in Ukraine before.
Pushkov wrote earlier today on his Twitter microblog that "PACE did not and cannot impose any sanctions on European deputies that visited Crimea and Donbas. This is another fake ‘made in Ukraine’." Pushkov noted that PACE’s resolutions are in fact recommendations, and "they are not entitled to prohibit or allow something for deputies."
The French parliamentary delegation visited Crimea in July 2015. That was the first visit of West European parliamentarians to the Black Sea peninsula since March 2014, when Crimean citizens voted overwhelmingly for its reunification with Russia in a referendum.
Delegation leader Thierry Mariani said the visit was to seek first-hand information about developments on the peninsula.