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World finally hears opinion of Crimeans at Geneva forum - Russian parliament member

Ruslan Balbek stressed the forum showed that Europe wants to hear an alternative point of view

GENEVA, November 24. /TASS/. The UN Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law held in Geneva on November 22-23 allowed to convey to the international community the opinion of Crimeans on the situation with rights and freedoms, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma's committee on nationalities and former deputy prime minister of the Crimean government Ruslan Balbek told TASS on Saturday.

"The forum showed that Europe finally wants to hear an alternative point of view," Balbek said. Russian parliament members are "ready to invite representatives of international organization - UN, OSCE - to Crimea so that they can see the situation there with their own eyes," he added.

Balbek assessed the forum "very positively" and noted that "the hosts showed good organization and remained neutral allowing all participants to speak."

In his speech at the forum, Balbek said that "the Russian civilization was able to unite many ethnicities, different religions into a monolith Russian nation." "Mutual respect and care for each other" served as the main factors for success, along with "equality among religions and ethnicities, respect toward languages and traditions," he added.

In response to a TASS question on whether Kiev may lift its water, energy and transport blockade from Crimea, Balbek said that such expectations are "pointless." "We can only regret that Ukrainian people are now under informational, political and economic pressure," he said. "Kiev authorities behave like they are working as back-up dancers for the US State Department. They are trying to win favor by blindly hating everything related to the Russian world," he added.