Polish lawmakers announce possible visit to Crimea
Founder of the Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic Janusz Korwin-Mikke told Russian daily Izvestia that when the French MPs visited Crimea they practically recognized the current legal status of the region. He also added that he would like to go to the Crimean Republic together with his colleagues but said that it would be possible only after October 25, because he is currently too busy with the elections campaign.
The head of the State Duma Committee for Relations with CIS Nations, Leonid Slutsky, told RIA Novosti that the Russian parliament welcomed all colleagues from Europe and from all over the world.
“The doors to Crimea are open and new initiatives confirm that the ice had been broken and Europe wants to know truth,” he said.
In late July, a group of French lawmakers headed by MP Thierry Mariani (The Republicans bloc) paid a visit to the Crimean Republic at the invitation of Russian counterparts. After the visit was completed, Mariani told reporters that he and his colleagues found the people in the region to be free and happy, especially about the fact that they did not have to face the same situation as the people in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, currently engulfed in a war with pro-Kiev military and Ukrainian nationalist units. He also added that in his opinion there were no grounds to keep the EU sanctions against Russia in place.
After this breakthrough trip, several Italian parliamentarians from the Euroskeptic movement Five Stars and the nationalist party Liga Nord also announced their intention to visit Crimea and get firsthand experience of the situation there.
A representative of the German parliamentary party ‘The Left’ also said its members would consider the possibility of personal trip to the republic.
“I think that the French parliamentarian’s trip was a right thing to do. Being elected by the people it was their duty to tell and show the official French authorities, politicians and the society as a whole what is really going on in Crimea right now. This is a correct and demonstrative decision,” MP Alexander Neu told reporters.
The head of the State Duma Committee for International Relations Aleksey Pushkov commented on these declarations that the visits of European politicians to Crimea was a mark of a new, more democratic approach to the choice of the Crimean people, as earlier Europe had de facto refused the republic the right to choose its fate during what could be described as a coup in Kiev.
He said that European lawmakers who have already visited Crimea could be seen as protectors of traditional democratic values as European politicians have always emphasized the necessity to listen to ordinary people rather than governments alone.