"Whatever happened in history, Nice and Yalta have always been close friends. This is also true today, when Crimea became one of Russia's republics. The signing of this letter of intent is an opportunity to strengthen Franco-Russian friendship between Nice and Russia," he observed.
Estrosi's Russian counterpart shared the sentiment.
"Keeping in mind the current complex environment, the signing of the letter of intent between our two cities should serve as an example of friendship between our countries; it should also establish relations between Russia and Europe," Andrey Rostenko, the mayor of Yalta, noted.
The Crimean Peninsula reunited with Russia in March 2014 following a referendum, which saw more than 96% of voters backing the move to secede from Ukraine. The initiative came after Ukraine's legitimate president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted in a foreign-sponsored coup.