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German government urges German deputies not to visit Crimea after their French colleagues

August 03, 2015, 16:45 UTC+3 BERLIN
German government’s deputy spokesperson says that under all international laws Crimea belongs to Ukraine, and no one can go there without prior consultations with the Ukrainian authorities.
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© AP Photo/Gero Breloer

BERLIN, August 3 /TASS/. If German deputies decide to follow the example of their French colleagues to visit Crimea, which became part of Russia on results of the March 16, 2014 referendum, they will not contribute to smoothing differences between Russia and the West, Christiane Wirtz, the German government’s deputy spokesperson, told a briefing on Monday.

"I doubt that under the current circumstances such a step would contribute to settling the conflict," she said.

Wirtz said that under all international laws Crimea belongs to Ukraine, and that no one could go there without prior consultations with the Ukrainian authorities.

The press service of the Left, a German opposition party, told TASS earlier on Monday that German deputies could visit the peninsula some time in future but not now because of parliament’s summer recess when most German deputies were away on their vacation.

"You are asking in connection with the French deputies’ trip to Crimea. They had an invitation. If we received an invitation here, then it could be discussed," the Left’s press service said.

The French deputies visited Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol on July 23-24. They met the leaders of the Republic of Crimea and then moved to Yalta where they talked to ordinary people and tourists. In Sevastopol, the French lawmakers visited several museums, including the French war cemetery, and met Sevastopol’s Governor Sergey Menyailo.

Thierry Mariani, a deputy of the French National Assembly (parliament) and the co-chairman of the Franco-Russian Dialogue association, headed the French delegation. He explained that their purpose was to get firsthand information of what was happening on the peninsula. The conclusion he drew by the end of his two-day trip was that the people in Crimea were happy.

The people of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol live peacefully and happily, Mariani told journalists after the visit.

"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," the French lawmaker said.

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