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    Kiev to Ban French Lawmakers from Entering Ukraine for Visiting Crimea

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    Kiev may ban French parliamentarians from entering the territory of Ukraine, if they proceed with their plans to visit Crimea later this week, Ukrainian foreign ministry's press service said Wednesday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — A group of ten French parliamentarians, led by lower-house National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee member Thierry Mariani, plan to visit Crimea July 23-24. The lawmakers plan to visit the cities of Yalta, Simferopol and Sevastopol, and meet with local authorities.

    Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted in a statement that the French lawmakers had not submitted their travel plans to Kiev, labeling the visit to Crimea as “an irresponsible step, showing disrespect towards the state sovereignty of Ukraine, and deliberate rejection of the legislation of Ukraine.”

    The statement adds that there are consequences for violating Ukrainian law, including travel bans.

    Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Director General for Policy and Communications Oleksii Makeiev warned French parliamentarians of possible “consequences” in a post on Twitter.

    Crimea rejoined Russia after a March 2014 referendum in which 96 percent voted to secede from Ukraine. Kiev and a number of Western states have refused to recognize the reunification, labeling it an “illegal annexation.”

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    Tags:
    France, lawmakers, parliamentarians, reunification, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee, Oleksii Makeiev, Thierry Mariani, Crimea, Ukraine
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