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French lawmakers plan to visit Crimea despite foreign ministry's opposition

July 06, 16:15 UTC+3 PARIS
The French Foreign Ministry does not support the French parliamentarians who intend to visit Crimea
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The chairman of Crimea's State Council, Vladimir Konstantinov and Thierry Mariani, a member of the French National Assembly

The chairman of Crimea's State Council, Vladimir Konstantinov and Thierry Mariani, a member of the French National Assembly

© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS

PARIS, July 6. /TASS/. A delegation of French lawmakers is planning to visit Crimea in late July, Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of the National Assembly (lower house of the French Parliament), said on Wednesday.

"We are planning to arrive in Crimea in late July to attend the celebrations in honor of the Russian Navy," Dhuicq said, adding that the delegation will be led by his fellow party member Thierry Mariani.

He said some senators could join the delegation.

"The list of the delegation’s members and the visit’s dates have not been finalized yet," the lawmaker said.

Official Paris does not support the French parliamentarians who intend to visit Crimea. 
"The same as the EU, France does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said yesterday. "Therefore, the French authorities do not support any initiatives that challenge this position."

This year both houses of the French Parliament supported lifting sanctions against Russia. French lawmakers said in a resolution that western countries had become victims of their own embargo.

"Our relations with Russia are fundamental," said Yves Pozzo di Borgo, one of the resolution’s authors. Pozzo di Borgo and his colleagues from other party groups supported gradual lifting of economic sanctions and the revision of political and diplomatic measures of the EU.

Last summer a group of French parliament members became the first European parliamentarians to visit Crimea after its reunification with Russia. The delegates met with Crimean colleagues, the republic’s head Sergey Aksyonov and local residents. The trip was condemned in the West, and all the delegation members were declared persona non grata in Ukraine.

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