MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. A French delegation of 11 lawmakers and senators are scheduled to visit Crimea from July 29 to 31 to take part in celebrating Russian Navy Day in Sevastopol, Chairman of the Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots at the State Duma, Leonid Slutsky said on Tuesday.
"A delegation of 11 French lawmakers led by National Assembly Member and ex-Transport Minister, Thierry Mariani will pay a visit to Crimea from July 29 to 31," he said.
Slutsky said that meetings with the Head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, the State Council Chairman, Vladimir Konstantinov, the Governor of Sevastopol, Sergey Menyailo and possibly with Crimea’s Prosecutor General, Natalya Poklonskaya are on the agenda.
Moreover, the delegation will meet the Black Sea Fleet’s Commander, Admiral Alexander Vitko and participate in the Navy Day celebration in Sevastopol.
Earlier Slutsky pointed out that it was thanks to Mariani’s efforts that the National Assembly and later the French Senate adopted resolutions that "clearly stated all over Europe that anti-Russian sanctions are unacceptable."
The French parliamentary delegation visited Crimea in July 2015, contrary to the recommendations of the French Foreign Ministry. That was the first visit by West European parliamentarians to the Black Sea peninsula since March 2014, when Crimean citizens voted overwhelmingly for reunification with Russia in a referendum. Delegation leader, Thierry Mariani said the visit was to seek first-hand information about developments on the peninsula. The trip aroused displeasure in the West, while all delegation members were declared persona non grata in Ukraine.