SEVASTOPOL, February 6. /TASS/. The Ukrainian sanctions against a delegation of German lawmakers, visiting Crimea from February 3 to 9, won’t contribute to the peace mission, nor will it restore dialogue between the Ukrainian and Russian authorities. Hugh Bronson, member of Berlin’s state parliament, the House of Representatives, (the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin) and member of the German delegation said in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Tuesday.
According to earlier reports, on February 5, the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office launched a criminal case over the visit by German politicians to Crimea. The delegation comprising regional parliament members of Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Baden-Wurttemberg states arrived in Crimea on February 3. The parliamentarians who represent the Alternative for Germany (Alternative fur Deutschland, AfD, the third largest party in the Bundestag), plan to discuss the removal of Western sanctions and the recognition of the Peninsula as part of Russia.
"We were amazed to hear this news from Ukraine. We reside in Europe. Ukrainians and Russians are two numerous nations, Kiev and Moscow should agree on a mutual peace without confrontation. Our visit might be able to make a small contribution to this cooperation. However, the threats from Kiev will not help us in this mission," Bronson told reporters when replying to a question about the criminal case launched by Ukraine over their visit to Crimea.
The lawmaker emphasized that the purpose of the visit is to urge the German government to lift the sanctions.
"These punitive measures impede normal relations between countries and we would like Kiev to agree to compromise and cooperation," he added.
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests swept across Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.
On March 16, 2014, a referendum on reuniting with Russia was conducted. Over 80% of voters participated in the plebiscite, most of them supporting the proposal (96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol).
On March 18, President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia, and the Russian Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21.
Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have refused to recognize Crimea’s independence and its reunification with Russia.