SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) — Clark, a former diplomat who came to Crimea to visit the cities of Simferopol, Yalta, and Sevastopol, held a meeting on Friday with Oleg Belaventsev, the Russian presidential envoy to the Crimean Federal District.
Clark said that Crimea was very important in international affairs and promised to present an unbiased review of Crimea's referendum on reunification with Russia, as well as the peninsula's plans for the future amid Western sanctions imposed against Russia over Moscow's alleged meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.
The Russian presidential envoy expressed confidence that the journalist would be able to provide the Western community with a fair and truthful opinion regarding Crimea. According to Clark, unlike many Western media, The Japan Times is not influenced by the government or the intelligence.
Western countries, as well as Japan, have imposed sanctions targeting Russia's banking, energy and defense sectors after Crimea's reunification with Russia.
Japan’s former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has urged Japan to lift anti-Russia sanctions and recognize the Crimea referendum.
A group of French lawmakers, led by lower-house National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee member Thierry Mariani, visited Crimea in July, reporting afterwards that the Black Sea peninsula residents, who are predominantly ethnically-Russian, appear to be happy to to have "returned" to Russia. The lawmakers said what they saw in Crimea was completely different from what Western media portray.