"The lawmakers arrived searching for the truth, in order to see how Crimea lives on the third anniversary of its reunification with Russia. Their arrival once again proves that the Western political strategists overplayed with the demonization of Russia. Today, the lawmakers of many countries, including Europe, are coming to Crimea in order to later tell their people about the real state of affairs on the peninsula," Balbek said.
Balbek stressed that the delegation was represented by reasonable Ukrainian politicians who "are not under the influence of the nationalist fervor."
The lawmaker added that this was the first visit of Ukrainian politicians to Crimea since the reunification.
Russia's historical southern region of Crimea rejoined the country after a 2014 referendum. Almost 97 percent of the region's population voted for reunification in a referendum. Sevastopol, which has a federal city status, supported the move by 95.6 percent of votes.
The Western countries have not recognized the legitimacy of the vote, imposing several rounds of sanctions on Russia. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.
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