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    Regions of Russia. Crimea

    Nice's Deputy Mayor: French City Wants to Promote Ties With Russia's Crimea

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    The French city of Nice and its Crimean sister city of Yalta are determined to rekindle their friendship and foster economic, cultural and tourism cooperation despite the recent cold spell between the European Union and Russia, Deputy Mayor of Nice Rudy Salles confirmed.

    "Nice has been Yalta's sister city for years. By reviving this partnership we wanted to extend our friendship to and voice support for our sister city and the Crimea Peninsula," he told Sputnik. "I don't see anything that could prevent us from continuing the dialogue."

    The French official has also reaffirmed that Crimea is part of Russia, calling the peninsula "a traditionally Russian region."

    Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014 following a referendum, which saw more than 96 percent of the 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 a month earlier.

    A delegation from Yalta spent five days in the capital of the French Riviera from February 26 to March 1.

    A general view shows the beach of the Promenade Des Anglais in Nice, southeastern France, March 1, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
    A general view shows the beach of the Promenade Des Anglais in Nice, southeastern France, March 1, 2016.

    For his part, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has confirmed that he will visit Crimea despite the fact that the French government does not recognize the peninsula as part of Russia. The visit is scheduled to take place in May.

    "Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and I have always said that we are Russia's friends," Salles emphasized, adding that the Western sanctions and Moscow's countermeasures are harmful both for Europeans, and Russians. "This situation threatens friendship with Russia. For us this is unacceptable."


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    cooperation, sister cities, reunification, Crimean reunification, Crimean referendum, Christian Estrosi, Rudy Salles, Nice, France, Yalta, Crimea, Russia
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