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PARIS, July 26. /TASS/. Crimea has always been a Russian land ever since it ceased to be part of the Ottoman Empire and Europe’s unwillingness to admit this fact and its anti-Russian sanctions is a path to nowhere, French lawmaker Jacques Myard, who visited Crimea with a delegation of other French lawmakers earlier this week, told the France 24 television channel on Sunday.
Speaking with the host, Myard asked her to refrain from the use of the term ‘annexation’ in respect of the recent development in Crimea. "It is a kind of return to a natural course of history, since Crimea has always belonged to Russia," he said. "I think we must face up to reality. There is no bigger mistake in foreign politics that denial of the reality, and our Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius keeps on saying we are going to plunge into no wars over Crimea. So, time is coming when we must emerge from the state of deception and begin reckon with reality."
Recalling his visit to Crimea, he said the French delegation had been welcomed in a warn atmosphere. "We say a quiet land populated by Russian-speaking people," the French lawmaker said. "Notably, language pluralism between the Russia, Ukrainian and Tatar languages is observed there."
Touching on the development of the spring of 2014, when Crimea held a referendum on rejoining Russia on the backdrop of the state coup in Ukraine, Myard said this referendum was a milestone step. "We must admit that post-referendum developments there have made it possible to avoid violence," he said.
At the same time, he said the situation in Crimea should be discriminated from that in Donbas. In the latter case, in his words, a key factor is to be the Ukrainian side’s initiative towards peace settlement of the armed conflict. "It is necessary to fulfil the Minsk agreements," he stressed. "But when I hear accusations from the Ukrainians I think that they’d better establish order at home and begin to fulfil the Minsk-2 package. This is the reality."
Sanctions against Russia, according to Myard, are a path to nowhere and are to be abandoned. "France’s and Europe’s sanctions against Russia, which, in turn, trigger Russia’s sanctions against France’s agriculture, are utterly silly and I ponder mu words when I say so," he said. "We must get off this path, we don’t have to follow the United States’ lead, bearing in mind that it took it 30 years to get out of the sanction process with Cuba."
He called on the French government to abandon sanctions, maybe unilaterally, since further sanctions run counter to the country’s interests. "If we count on the European Union’s diplomacy, which is absent, it will take years [to list sanction], and it is against our interests," the French lawmaker underscored. "We are tired to Russia by economic, political, geo-strategic and especially cultural interests, so it is a mistake to play a blame game and point a finger at Russia. Crimea is Russian and what? What problem it might pose to our French interests and France’s security? We must conduct an independent foreign policy, defend France’s but not anybody else’s interests, reckon with the reality but not deny it."