YALTA, July 24. /TASS/. The visit of French parliamentarians to Crimea will make it possible to finally put an end to speculations and distortion of Russia’s image in Europe — to break a kind of "an ice crust," head of a committee of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament Leonid Slutsky told TASS on Friday.
"Now we can clearly and confidently say that the ‘ice crust’ that has distorted the image of Russia in Europe will be broken," the head of the CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots Committee at the State Duma, coordinator of the parliamentary group for relations with the French Parliament said. "We understand that a struggle for Europe is currently underway. Whose side will it [Europe] take? Will it join the power that is trying to build a unipolar world, or stay with its traditional partners, including Russia, which is committed to European values?" he said.
According to Slutsky, the main tool used by Russia’s enemies is information, in particular, regular attacks on the Russian Federation, its residents in the light of the bloody conflict in Ukraine. "Our opponents have been invariably accusing us of such terrible events as, for example, the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight crash," he said.
The Russian lawmaker also expressed confidence that now "the trend will be reversed." "These people [French deputies] cannot be hushed. They are authoritative French parliamentarians, supported by thousands of voters, and they plan to give news conferences," Slutsky said. According to him, even if the major media outlets ignore their statements, they will be in some way or another spread through the Internet, "which can hardly be regulated."
"I think they will make a stir in the European information space, which will have a bombshell effect after the weekend," said Slutsky. All [electronic] media will be studded with comments of our colleagues, who will return from Crimea."
A group of French parliamentarians headed by MP Thierry Mariani — a representative of the center-right Republicans Party of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, arrived in Moscow on Wednesday evening. After a meeting in the State Duma, the French lawmakers went to Crimea. This decision has provoked an angry reaction in Kiev and fierce debate in Paris.