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German legislators visiting Crimea speak against anti-Russian sanctions

It’s important to make trips to Crimea unrestricted, the German deputies believe

SIMFEROPOL, February 6. /TASS/. Members of a delegation of deputies of Germany’s regional legislatures currently visiting the Republic of Crimea, have spoken in favor of lifting the anti-Russian sanctions and eliminating the blockade the Western media have put up around Crimea.

A delegation of legislators representing the Alternative fur Deutschland party from three German federal states - North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Baden-Wurttemberg - arrived in Crimea on February 3. In the course of the trip, they have already visited the world-famous southern coast of Crimea known for its beach cities and the federal city of Sevastopol.

The visiting ten legislators, whose party has the third-largest Caucus in the Bundestag, have had an opportunity to speak to local residents and with municipal officials in Yalta and Simferopol.

On Tuesday, the delegation met with deputies of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea.

The legislators have had an opportunity to get first-hand evidence of the local residents’ satisfaction with life and optimist about the future. They said Western countries should revoke the anti-Russian sanctions and visits of this kind helped move forward towards that objective.

"Crimea is part of Russia and we’d like to see restrictions around it removed," a deputy from Baden-Wurttemberg, Reiner Balzer said on Tuesday. "It’s important to make trips to Crimea unrestricted - something Ukraine objects to. We should communicate freely."

The deputies said they were friends of Crimea and they would continue the policy aimed at scrapping the anti-Russian sanctions. "We’ll be making small steps to have the sanctions lifted," said Roger Beckam of North Rhine/Westphalia.

He also said a certain part of Germans feel jealous towards the Crimeans, who have been able to determine the future on their own.

"You determined your future yourselves and, frankly speaking, we envy you," Beckam said.

The legislators also have had an opportunity to see for themselves that people in Crimea are quite satisfied with life and are looking at the future with optimism, in a marked contrast to the stories about occupation of the region spread by the mainstream global media.

"The picture painted by our media suggests that Crimea is an occupied and suppressed territory where there are soldiers all around and the people’s eyes are full horror," Nick Fogel, a deputy from North Rhine-Westphalia said at the meeting with Crimean deputies.

"Still, as far as I can see, our media are somewhat mistaken," he said. "We’ve have an opportunity of free communications with ordinary people and the impression we’ve gotten is that people are very satisfied and looking into the future with confidence."

"The world community will realize sooner or later that the mainstream media supply incorrect information on Crimea," Fogel said. "The dam has been broken and there’s no stopping the flood. You can only wait."

He shared the conviction of fellow-deputies that trips for the groups like theirs helped develop dispel the information blockade of Crimea.

On March 16, 2014, the authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum on the issue of reunification with Russia after an interval of 60 years. Their decision to hold it followed the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev and the arrival at power of violently nationalistic forces.

More than 80% of registered voters came to the polls and of that number, 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol voted in favor of reunification.

On March 18, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, and both houses of Russian parliament ratified it on March 21.

In spite of more than convincing results of the referendum, Kiev and its outside supporters, primarily the U.S. and the EU, refuse to recognize the results of voting.