02:20 GMT04 June 2020
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    The lawmakers and businessmen who are part of the Italian delegation to Crimea have been threatened by legal proceedings by the Ukrainian authorities and subjected to Kiev's attempts to derail the visit, Stefano Valdegamberi, a member of the delegation and a lawmaker from the Veneto regional parliament, said Friday.

    SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) — Other delegate, Roberto Penazzi, said that he received a letter from the Ukrainian Consulate, which contained threats to file a lawsuit against him, if he went ahead with the visit.

    "Warning letters were sent by the Ukrainian Consul. I didn't get one of these letters myself, but my colleagues did. The letters mentioned my visit to Crimea in April this year, when I took part in the Yalta International Economic Forum. The letters told people not to avoid doing what I did and not to go to Crimea," Valdegamberi told reporters.

    Valdegamberi saw this letter as a direct personal threat.

    “A consul of a foreign nation should refrain from meddling in the activities of  another country's parliamentarians," he said.

    The Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia after more than 96 percent of local voters supported the move in a referendum in March 2014. Kiev, as well as the European Union, the United States and their allies, did not recognize the move and consider the peninsula to be an occupied territory.

    Nevertheless, over 60 delegations from dozens of countries have visited Russia’s southwestern Crimea region this year, defying Western restrictions, including those from France, Italy, Jordan and many other countries.


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