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    Italy’s Lega Nord Party Welcomes Italian Delegation Visit to Crimea

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    Italy’s Lega Nord Party salutes visit of a group of Italian lawmakers to Crimea.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova Italy's right-wing political party Lega Nord is upbeat about a visit of a group of Italian lawmakers to Crimea, the party head told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    Earlier parliamentarian Manlio de Stefano confirmed that an Italian delegation will visit Crimea.

    "Personally, I recommend everyone to go to that beautiful Russian peninsula which I visited last year, after Lega Nord had recognized the results of the referendum where people in Crimea voted to rejoin Russia," Matteo Salvini said.

    The lawmaker recalled his last visit to Crimea, when a delegation of Italian lawmakers met with Head of Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksenov and other local officials, and described it as a "pleasant" and "important" experience.

    Salvini expressed his readiness to return to Crimea, where people "appreciate the battle of Lega Nord against anti-Russian sanctions." He underlined that his party would continue to keep Russia as a friend and partner.

    The announcement of the upcoming Italian delegation's visit came after a group of 10 French parliamentarians visited the Crimean peninsula last week. The French Foreign Ministry called the trip a violation of international law.

    French lower-house National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee member Thierry Mariani who headed the delegation said the lawmakers would visit Crimea again in October.

    The Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine and became part of Russia after a 96 percent popular vote supported the move in a referendum in March 2014.

    Western countries, including Washington and the EU member states, have not recognized the legitimacy of the vote, imposing several rounds of sanctions on Russia over what they consider a Crimean "annexation." Moscow has pointed out that the referendum was within the international legal framework.


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