04:02 GMT26 January 2021
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    A Norwegian delegation and two German lawmakers paid a visit to Crimea, which the West doesn't recognize part of Russia despite the fact that the peninsula's residents overwhelmingly in favor of the reunification with Russia. The head of the delegation has spoken to Sputnik about the visit.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hendrik Weber, the head of Norwegian delegation to Crimea, has told Sputnik about the aims of the visit.

    "My wife Mette and I were here [in Crimea] last year as members of a German delegation. We were here as the leaders of the first official Norwegian delegation since 2014. We are working for a good dialogue between Russia and Norway. We believe that Crimea is a legitimate part of the Russian Federation and want to show it with our visit," Weber said.

    Weber, the head of Betongrehab Vest company, said that "senseless sanctions against the population of Crimea" had to be lifted.

    The Norwegian businessman noted that Crimea had changed a lot since his last visit, with new roads and other constructions projects underway.

    Weber said that Norwegian businesses might find interesting investment options on the peninsula, including tourism, infrastructure, energy production.

    "I think tourism is a very important source of income for Crimea. The landscape and the Black Sea is beautiful and the weather is warm. Perfect conditions for tourism," Weber said.

    A large delegation of politicians and businessmen from Norway, accompanied by two German lawmakers, visited Crimea for the first time since the peninsula reunified with Russia earlier in October. The delegation met with Crimean officials, as well as visited the Artek international children's camp. Commentin on the visit, Weber earlier told Sputnik that the delegation now plans to launch a media campaign against labeling Crimea an occupied territory.

    According to the Crimean deputy prime minister, over 100 foreign delegations along with prominent political and public figures had visited Crimea over the past year and a half.

    The peninsula rejoined Russia in 2014, following the referendum where more than 90 percent of the residents backed the return to Russia. However, Kiev and the majority of European counties and the United States have refused to recognize the results of the referendum and imposed sanctions on Russia and, specifically, on Crimea, including restrictions on foreign businesses' activities on the peninsula.


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