SIMFEROPOL, February 8. /TASS/. Lawmakers from Germany’s federal state legislatures who toured Crimea did not see any signs of ‘Russian occupation’ on the peninsula, Roger Beckam, an MP of the Landtag [legislature] in North Rhine-Westphalia representing the Alternative fur Deutschland [Alternative for Germany] party told reporters on Thursday.
The delegation of legislators representing the Alternative for Germany party in the legislatures of three federal states – North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Baden-Wurttemberg – arrived in Crimea on February 3. Their objective was to go on a fact-finding mission in the region, as well as to brainstorm ways of lifting the anti-Russian sanctions and recognizing Crimea’s status as a constituent territory of the Russian Federation.
“Our government has received a note of protest from the Ukrainian government concerning our trip to Crimea […],” Beckam said. “I’d like to state in clear terms we don’t see any kind of ‘Russian occupation’ here. I met people here who told me they wanted to be in Russia and this is for a long, long time.”
He also said the stories spread by German mass media about the situation in Crimea were “[…] unfortunately, untruthful.”
“We’re glad to acknowledge that a genuine referendum was held in Crimea and we admit that the introduction of sanctions was to punish the people of Crimea, who voted for living in Russia,” he said.
Harald Laatsch, a deputy from the Berlin legislature, believes that “[…] Crimea belongs to Russia and there’s no occupation.”