A soldier of the Russian occupation force atop an IFV in Crimea. (Image: epa.eu)
On Wednesday, a group of pro-Putin French parliamentarians will travel to Russia and to Russia-occupied Crimea.
Thierry Mariani, a member of parliament from Nicolas Sarkozy’s “The Republicans” party, stated this on air during I-Tele TV channel broadcast.
“There will be ten MPs from both chambers, both right and left. The program of travel – Moscow, Yalta, Simferopol. A day in Moscow, two – in the Crimea,” – Mariani was quoted by AFP.
“We are interested to find out what’s really going on,” – he said when responding to a question whether this visit is a manifestation of sympathy to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to him, the French Foreign Ministry has warned the MPs that it does not approve of this visit, and they are aware of their responsibility.
One member of the delegation, Yves Pozzo di Borgo said that for him the visit did not mean a “recognition of the annexation of the Crimea.”
It is worth noting that Thierry Mariani, together with the head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin leads “Franco-Russian Dialogue” association. [Note: Yakunin is one of Putin’s closest and long-time associates who was with him before he became a public official. – Transl.]