”Putin friends” from EU attending business forum in Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukraine protests

A number of pro-Russian businessmen, officials and public figures from across Europe accepted the invitation of occupation authorities in Crimea to take part in the so-called ”Yalta International Economic Forum” held in the annexed Crimea, according to Europeiska Pravda.

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Among the attendees, there are representatives of businesses, political movements and civic organizations from Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, and Austria, with the largest delegation coming from the Italian region of Veneto, EP reports.

The Veneto delegation is headed by the chairman of the regional council Roberto Ciambetti, a member of the eurosceptic party Lega Nord, which recently signed a cooperation agreement with Russia`s ruling Yedinaya Rossiya [United Russia] Party.

See also: Siemens turbines supplied to Russia could surface in occupied Crimea

Two members of the Italian Senate – Sergio Divina (Lega Nord) and Bartolomeo Amidei (Forza Italia) are also among the attendees.

Another Italian delegate, a member of  Veneto Regional Council Stefano Valdegamberi (Lega Nord) is known for supporting the idea of holding a referendum on the region`s independence from Italy.

Among other visitors of the occupied Crimea is also the deputy of the National Council of Austria (lower house of parliament) from the ultra-right Party of Freedom, Johann Hübner.

Romanian MEP Laurentiu Rebega representing in the European Parliament the extreme right-wing nationalist group Europe of Nations and Freedoms has come to the peninsula as well. 

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Ukraine`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed a resolute protest against the so-called Yalta International Economic Forum being held in in the Russian-annexed Crimea.

”The Foreign Affairs Ministry`s note addressed to the Russian Federation expresses a strong protest against the so-called ”Yalta International Economic Forum” being held on April 20-22, 2017, in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol that are temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reiterated that holding such an event is a gross violation by the Russian Federation of Ukraine`s sovereignty, Ukrainian legislation, universally recognized norms of international law, including the UN Charter, UN General Assembly resolutions ”Territorial integrity of Ukraine” A/Res/68/262 dated March 27, 2014, and the ”Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (Ukraine)” A/Res/71/205 dated December 19, 2016, as well as other multilateral international treaties signed by Ukraine and Russia.

See also: Kremlin rules out another referendum in occupied Crimea for lifting sanctions

”In this context, [Ukraine] categorically demands that the Russian side take immediate measures to restore Ukraine`s territorial integrity and sovereignty, strictly adhere to universally recognized norms of international law and immediately cease the practice of holding any events in sovereign territory without Ukraine`s consent,” the ministry said.

The media previously reported that some pro-Russian businessmen, politicians and public figures from Europe had arrived in the annexed Crimea to take part in the so-called Yalta forum.

See also: Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian writer and filmmaker from Crimea, imprisoned in Russia, wins Freedom to Write Award

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