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Russian lawmaker says French MPs visited Crimea despite pressure from national authorities

August 01, 2016, 17:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A Russian MP calls on Western European lawmakers to visit Crimea and Sevastopol like the French delegation did

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MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. French lawmakers dared to pay a visit to Crimea despite the unprecedented pressure from the French foreign ministry, a senior Russian lawmaker who accompanied the French delegation said on Monday.

"I want to draw attention to one thing that our [French] colleagues are sure to refrain from dwelling on. Like last year, members of the delegation had again felt unprecedented pressure, including from the French foreign ministry, which had insisted they abandon plans to make a trip to Crimea. But, as we know, none has refused from the trip," Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the committee for the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, told a news conference at TASS.

"I call on Western European lawmakers to visit Crimea and Sevastopol and tell people in their countries about the present-day realities in these territories," he said.

A delegation of 11 French lawmakers led by French National Assembly member and co-chairman of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association Thierry Mariani visited Crimea on July 29-31, 2016.

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