The visit of the Italian lawmakers and businessmen to Crimea, following the visit of the French legislators this summer, is set to tear apart the logic of sanctions against Russia, head of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs Leonid Slutsky told journalists on Friday.


“This is a landmark visit that destroys the logic of sanctions against Russia completely,” Slutsky affirmed.


He pointed out that apart from lawmakers, the Italian delegation is also comprised of businessmen that held specific talks on cooperation in trade, economics, science, technology and culture.


“This a good answer to the architects of the anti-Russian sanctions who sought to tear our economy apart and isolate Russia. We place great importance on this visit and hope that it will pave the way for business cooperation between Crimea and Italy’s regions,” Slutsky elaborated. According to him, “this is one more step towards Europe’s recognition of the outcome of the Crimean referendum on joining Russia.”


Slutsky said that a large delegation of 19 lawmakers and businessmen from Italy arrived in Crimea’s capital of Simferopol on Friday for a two-day visit. The delegation comprises representatives of five of Italy’s regions (Veneto, Liguria, Lombardia, Toscana, Emilia Romagna). Their assemblies have adopted resolutions calling for recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and cancelling sanctions against Moscow. The Italian businessmen visiting Crimea include the owners and CEOs of water purification companies, metal producers, agricultural and ecological equipment producers and food manufacturers. Winemakers expressed special interest in the visit.


The members of the Italian delegation were received by Crimea’s head Sergey Aksyonov and the State Council Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov.


This past summer, 11 French lawmakers led by the French National Assembly deputy Thierry Mariani, visited Crimea for the second time. Leonid Slutsky accompanied the delegation as he had done a year earlier.