This content is not available in your region

Crimea: French deputies defy sanctions for visit

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Crimea: French deputies defy sanctions for visit

<p>A group of French lawmakers pay their respects to soldiers from their country buried at a military cemetery dating back to the 19th century Crimean War.</p> <p>The unofficial trip to the peninsula by ten members of the opposition Republicans Party has been criticised by France and Ukraine.</p> <p>Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014 after a referendum widely held as illegitimate.</p> <p><strong>Former French Transport Minister Thierry Mariani</strong> told reporters there is no evidence of military oppression in the region. “People are not forced to do anything. It takes time for an image to change. We will transmit a different image.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="fr"align="center"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">Thierry Mariani défend l'annexion de la Crimée par la Russie <a href="http://t.co/ODo0F88lV8">http://t.co/ODo0F88lV8</a></p>— Le Point (@LePoint) <a href="https://twitter.com/LePoint/status/624286434594279424">23 Juillet 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3>Reaction to the trip</h3> <p>Crimea’s pro-Russian leader says the visit proves Western sanctions are ineffective.</p> <p>The French foreign minister said he was “shocked” by the trip which is “in violation of international law.”</p> <p>Ukraine has called it “irresponsible” and says it shows a lack of respect for Ukrainian sovereignty.</p>