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MOSCOW, July 22 /TASS/. Crimea is not in the spotlight of European press reports on relations between Russia and the European Union, Russia’s Ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television news channel on Wednesday.
"There has been no EU reaction to a trip of French parliamentarians to Crimea so far. It is likely to appear later after the visit. In fact, these deputies are violating the Brussels-adopted political line," the Russian diplomat said adding that deputies from other EU countries could easily follow their French colleague’s example.
"The Crimea theme is not in the spotlight of publications or conversations about Russia-EU relations. Generally speaking, I have an impression that for now our interlocutors would prefer leaving Crimea aside without retreating from the formal stance of not recognizing Crimea (as part of Russia)," Chizhov said.
At the same time, Chizhov said the French deputies’ visit should not be exaggerated. "Let’s see how the trip will pass. The most important thing is to see the general political reaction in France and the European Union," Chizhov went on to say.
"We should be realistic. It would be naпve to believe that the EU will change its stance on Crimea. It is much more urgent to revise what’s happening in the Russia-EU relations and in Ukraine," the Russian diplomat went on to say.
He called attention to the fact that the ambiguous situation in Ukraine was forcing Europeans to become more objective in their assessment of the Ukraine crisis.
A group of deputies of the French National Assembly will pay a visit to Russia on July 22-24. The delegation comprising ten members of the French parliament’s lower chamber is expected to arrive in Moscow on Wednesday evening. The French deputies will head for Crimea after meeting Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Narsyhkin on Thursday. In Crimea, the deputies will visit a resort town of Yalta and the federal city of Sevastopol. They will meet Crimea’s head Sergei Aksyonov and the head of Crimean State Council, Vladimir Konstantinov.