The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has condemned a visit by French politicians to the Russia-occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
In an official online statement, the Foreign Ministry stressed that the visit demonstrates a lack of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and ignores the fundamental principles of international law and Ukraine’s own legislation.
“They are also acting contrary to the official position of their own country, which decisively condemns Russia’s attempt to annex the Ukrainian peninsula,” the statement reads.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, by visiting Crimea, the French politicians are encouraging the aggressor in its unacceptable policy of expansionism, intolerance and discrimination, the militarization of Crimea and the creation of security threats in the region of the Black and Azov seas, as well as its mass and systematic human rights abuses on the occupied Crimean peninsula.
The 11-person group of French politicians led by MP Thierry Mariani arrived on the peninsula on 13 March and plans to remain until Saturday 16 March. The delegation includes Jean-Claude Boucher as a representative of the Vaucluse department, Mayor of Brienne-le-Château Nicolas Dhuicq, Mayor of Biguglia Sauveur Gandolfi-Scheit and honorary members of the French Parliament Michel Voisin and Georges Fenech. Among the guests from France are two journalists: Éléments Magazine reporter Christophe Lafosse and Channel TV Libertés reporter Guillaume Sanjorge, Crimean media reported.
Thierry Mariany is known for his active pro-Russian stance. As a member of the French National Assembly, he has led multiple delegations to Crimea. He visited the peninsula again in March 2018 as an observer of the Russian presidential elections.
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Ukrainian government has declared that Crimea can only be legally visited by crossing the border control points from mainland Ukraine.