: French deputies visiting Crimea closely involved in shadow side of France-Russia relations - expert
Opinion16:35 Aug. 5, 2016

French deputies visiting Crimea closely involved in shadow side of France-Russia relations - expert

MPs from France travelled to the occupied peninsula for the second time since July 2015

Vadym Triukhan, the Ukrainian diplomat, and expert on international and European law, shares his opinion about recent French parliamentary visit to Russia-occupied Crimea, what meaning it has in the context of France's non-recognition of the annexation and how it corresponds with international law.

Read also Ukraine 'outraged' over French deputies' Crimea visit

The expert explains that French parliamentarians' visit was a private trip and had nothing in common with the official position of the French government.

"Head of the delegation Thierry Mariani is closely linked to Russian politicians, he is married to a Russian woman and he is closely involved in certain shadow Russia-France negotiations, consultations, business and so on. These deputies are trying to raise their political position with Russians. And I would say they don't have anything in common with international law, with the position of France and friendly spirit of relations between our two countries," Vadym Triukhan says.

Read also France's foreign ministry responds to French MPs' visit to occupied Crimea

The Russian intent, according to the expert opinion, is to show the world community that European position is not so unanimous in criticizing Russian actions towards Ukraine. The EU has different opinions, which are barely articulated by European officials.

"They don't bring investment, they don't bring any contracts or any international treaties, etc. [to Crimea]. The sanctions imposed by the EU, and France in particular, are still affecting Crimea. And this visit is designed to show political pictures with the presence of deputies from the country, which has a good reputation in the EU, to draw the attention of sponsors from Russia that there is not only an official position of French authorities condemning Russian aggression, but also some alternative positions," Vadym Triukhan adds.

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