SEVASTOPOL, July 24 /TASS/. Crimean Tatars do not look unhappy, Thierry Mariani, the head of a delegation of French deputies who are currently on a visit to Crimea, told journalists in Sevastopol on Friday.
"Lots of distorted information is roaming around Europe. I met Crimean Tatars in Yalta. They did not look unhappy at all. On the contrary, they invited me to attend their forum and said that after Crimea’s reunification with Russia their language was granted official status," Mariani said.
There are three official state languages in Crimea - Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar.
Mariani said he was sorry he could not stay in Sevastopol for the forthcoming Russian Navy Day and a congress of Crimean Tatars. Nevertheless, he hopes to attend the Fleet Day celebrations in Sevastopol next year. Oleg Belaventsev, the presidential envoy in the Crimean Federal District, also invited the French to attend May 9 celebrations next year.
The people of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol live peacefully and happily, Thierry Mariani told journalists on Friday after a two-day visit to the Crimean peninsula.
"The conclusion we have drawn from our visit to Crimea is that we did not see any occupational troops or armed men. The people here are free. Over the past few days we have had a chance to see that it is a peaceful region and that the people here are happy," Mariani said.
"It is necessary to visit a place yourself in order to understand how things are," the French lawmaker stressed.
The French deputies arrived in Crimea on Thursday afternoon. They met the leaders of the Republic of Crimea and then moved to Yalta where they talked to ordinary people and tourists. On Friday, the French deputies went to Sevastopol to visit several museums. They are expected to meet Sevastopol’s Governor Sergei Menyailo later in the day.