Pursuing anti-Russia policy is a crime against Europe, German lawmaker and member of Angela Merkel’s party Willy Wimmer said.

Willy Wimmer, Germany’s former state secretary to the defense minister, said Wednesday that he sees no conflict in being a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) while conducting his ongoing visit to the Republic of Crimea.

“I have no problems with being a member of the CDU and being here. I know that millions of people in Germany agree with what I said here today and what I am saying now,” Wimmer told reporters in Crimea’s city of Simferopol when asked about the CDU’s reaction to his visit in Crimea.

The lawmaker stressed that he would not allow anyone to stop him from expressing his opinion.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be here, to get to know everything on the ground, to see it all with my own eyes. I am sure that my words represent the stronger part of Europe,” Wimmer said, adding that anti-Russia policy is a crime against the whole of Europe.

A delegation of lawmakers and businessmen from Germany and Austria is currently visiting Russia’s Crimea and has already met Yalta Mayor Andrei Rostenko and Republic of Crimea Head Sergei Aksyonov.

This is not the first case when a foreign delegation has visited the republic, which left Ukraine for Russia in 2014. Earlier in April, a delegation of businessmen and lawmakers from Spain visited in Crimea, with another German delegation having visited the region in October 2016 and March 2017.

Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.

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