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Lawmaker blasts Sobchak’s Crimea statement as ‘affront’ to peninsula’s voters

The presidential contender Ksenia Sobchak considers Crimea Ukrainian territory and will not conduct her election campaign there

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Remarks by TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak that Crimea is Ukrainian soil were seen by residents of the Black Sea peninsula as an affront to their vote cast at the 2014 referendum to become part of Russia, State Duma (lower house of parliament) MP from Crimea and Deputy Chairman of the Nationality Affairs Committee, Ruslan Balbek, said on Wednesday.

Sobchak earlier stated she plans to toss her hat into the ring for the 2018 presidential election in Russia. She noted that she considers Crimea Ukrainian territory and will not conduct her election campaign there.

"I can say that this is an affront to Crimea’s residents, because they see the free choice they had made at the historic referendum in Crimea as a delicate issue," Balbek said during a TV link-up organized by the Millet public TV and radio company and the Russian Foreign Ministry. "We communicate with various civil society institutions, NGOs, including religious and national ones. The indignation was indeed tremendous, which means that there is an understanding that this was an affront to Crimeans’ choice to be part of Russia."

He added that Sobchak’s refusal to come to Crimea indicates that she is aware of people’s response to that.

For his part, Crimea's Envoy to the Russian President, Georgy Muradov, added that Sobchak’s refusal to electioneer in Crimea was the right step, adding that "she won’t be supported by anyone," but rather she’ll just get ‘bad vibes’ from the entire people of Crimea."