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EU Visits to Crimea Reflect Democracy, Not Divisions Over Russia, Say Analysts

As Ukraine launched a rapist review into a revisit final week by 10 French lawmakers to Crimea, a stream trend for delegations of European lawmakers visiting a peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine final year shows that opinion on Russia process within a EU is distant from unanimous, analysts told The Moscow Times on Thursday.

Following a French parliamentarians’ revisit final week, lawmakers from Italy and Hungary announced their skeleton to revisit a peninsula, as good as members of a EU council and a Parliamentary Assembly of a Council of Europe.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General non-stop a rapist review into what it pronounced was a bootleg channel of Ukraine’s limit by 9 deputies of a French National Assembly and one member of a Senate, who flew to Crimea on a approach moody from Moscow.

Ukraine considers Crimea to sojourn partial of a emperor territory, and argues that all visitors should pass by Ukrainian etiquette and pass control.

“Crimea is Ukraine. Anybody who encroaches on a freedom, government or firmness of a state and supports a cast will be punished by law, irrespective of their rank, citizenship or tactful status,” Georgiy Logvinsky, a Ukrainian parliamentary emissary who instituted a investigation, wrote on his Facebook comment Thursday.

Ukraine sees Crimea as partial of a domain that is temporarily assigned by Russia, while many Western countries courtesy Crimea as carrying been annexed by Russia in defilement of general law. Russia says that Crimea came underneath Moscow’s control after internal people voiced their enterprise to turn partial of Russia in a fast orderly referendum final year.

French Trendsetters

Led by Thierry Mariani, a member of a center-right Republicans party, a elect of French lawmakers trafficked to Crimea final Thursday, visiting a cities of Yalta, Simferopol and Sevastopol. The revisit was criticized by a French Foreign Ministry, whose orator called it “a defilement of general law.”

The elect was invited by State Duma emissary Leonid Slutsky in and with a Franco-Russian Dialogue association, that is co-chaired by Mariani and Vladimir Yakunin, conduct of state rail corner Russian Railways.

The outing valid to be a vital media success for a Kremlin, with state-run radio channels proudly trumpeting it as explanation that anti-Russian togetherness in Europe is crumbling, while other media served adult a sound bites handed to them by a tender politicians.

“This is a pacific region, a usually members of a troops we saw there were members of a troops orchestra, while on a streets we spoke to a lot of internal residents, and nobody told us that they bewail what happened,” Yves Pozzo di Borgo, emissary authority of a French Senate’s European Affairs Committee, told a Kommersant journal on a delegation’s lapse to Moscow over a weekend.

Borgo done headlines during his revisit after purchasing and wearing a T-shirt with a design of President Vladimir Putin looking during U.S. President Barack Obama with a caption: “Obama, You Suck” created in Russian underneath. In an talk with a Gazeta.ru news website, Borgo pronounced he did not pronounce Russian and did not know what a word said.

“I can contend that there is no function there, people live freely. Even a Tatars [many of whom against a annexation] whom we met told us that they feel freer and some-more secure now,” associate lawmaker Jerome Lambert, a member of a financial elect of a French National Assembly, was quoted by Kommersant as saying.

Policy vs. Populism

“Of march these visits are really unpleasant for a Ukrainian leadership, since Crimea can't be famous as Russian territory,” pronounced Konstantin Bondarenko, conduct of a Ukrainian Politics Foundation, a consider tank in Kiev.

“There is a organisation of politicians in Europe who feat a subject of rebuilding ties with Russia, generally in a context of a mercantile advantages this could bring,” Bondarenko pronounced in a phone interview.

The fact that a French elect comprised members of a celebration of a country’s former boss Nicolas Sarkozy means that a change of process competence be coming, according to Fyodor Lukyanov, authority of a Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a consider tank with tighten links to Russia’s Foreign Ministry,

“This could be interpreted as an try to variegate risks [by not blazing bridges with Russia] and also a approach to conflict a really catastrophic unfamiliar policies of Francois Hollande — France has been losing a change on general affairs lately,” pronounced Lukyanov in a phone interview.

He pronounced that a designed revisit by Italian lawmakers announced by Manlio di Stefano, a member of a border Five Star Movement populist celebration led by a comedian, has other motivations, however.

“These people wish to use any possibility to denote their populist, anti-establishment stance,” Lukyanov said.

Di Stefano wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that a Italian elect will revisit Crimea in October. It will contain 8 to 10 deputies, Kommersant reported.

Marton Gyongyosi, one of a leaders of Hungary’s jingoist Jobbik party, told Kommersant that a elect from Hungary would also revisit in a fall.

Jobbik is a third-largest domestic celebration in a Hungarian parliament.

In addition, Nadine Morano, a French member of a EU council who shaped a organisation “For a New Dialogue With Russia” that lobbies for Europe’s re-engagement with Moscow, told Kommersant that a members competence revisit Crimea too.

Divisions or Democracy?

“On a one hand, such visits are deleterious a attempts of a EU to clearly promulgate to Russia that it doesn’t accept a cast of Crimea and a Russian charge in eastern Ukraine,” pronounced Ulrich Speck, a visiting academician during Carnegie Europe, a consider tank in Brussels.

“But on a other hand, one should not overreact to visits of MPs of several EU countries in Crimea. They do not paint a mainstream of opinion in a EU. It is a tiny number, and many of them go to a domestic fringe,” he pronounced in created comments.

“Furthermore, those travels denote that governments in a EU don’t control a domestic system, distinct in Russia. A far-reaching spectrum of opinion on Russia exists in a EU and MPs are giveaway to demonstrate them — nonetheless they competence have disregarded general law, as a French Foreign Ministry argues,” he said.

Contact a author during i.nechepurenko@imedia.ru

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/526510.html