The head of the delegation, Sharon Tennyson, is a social activist with great experience. Back in the early 1980s, when the Soviet Union and the United States were in a state of cold war, Sharon Tennyson came into the movement of “people's diplomacy” and began to develop contacts between the two countries in education, health, and the environment. Thirty-two years Sharon Tennyson travels around Russia, so a visit to the Crimea is just another round in her program of building relationships between the Russian and American peoples. Sharing impressions of her travels in Russia, Sharon Tennison once said: “How healthy and dynamic Russia looks today. I have been driving all over the country for 32 years. Never before have I had the impression that everything is as good as this time. You can not say that this is an isolated country, punishable by sanctions. Russia gives the impression of a healthy, dynamic country, aspiring to the future. ”
Despite the fact that the American delegation was represented by social activists, it was accepted at a high official level. The guests from the United States met with the Chairman of the Simferopol City Council, Victor Ageev, and the head of the city administration of Simferopol, Gennady Bakharev. The head of the Simferopol administration, having met the American guests, noted their courage. After all, to really come to the Crimea, which the United States stubbornly refuses to recognize as part of Russia, is worth something. Gennady Bakharev also stressed the openness of the Crimean leadership for meetings and communication with foreign delegations.
Sharon Tennyson noted that members of the American delegation are hoping to establish good relations between the US and Russia. The public figures who were part of the delegation promised to make every effort to tell the world about the true situation in the Russian Crimea. Among the representatives of the American delegation were former high-ranking US military, for example, retired Colonel Ann Wright, who previously also worked in the United States Department of State. Ann Wright described the Western sanctions against Crimea as inhuman and unfair, causing great concern. According to Ann Wright, who has visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Cuba and North Korea, the American policy of sanctions does not work everywhere, but Washington is still counting on it to change the political and economic course of unwanted countries. Ann Wright said that she admires the courage of Crimeans who are not afraid to express their point of view. The delegation also included Robert Gould, a professor at the University of California, and David Harts, a well-known peace activist.
The arrival of the American delegation of public figures is an extraordinary event, but by no means unusual for the Crimea. The fact is that foreign delegations continue to visit the peninsula very often. Vice Prime Minister of the Crimean Government George Muradov even noted that the policy of sanctions against Crimea absolutely does not work - foreign delegations visit the peninsula almost every week. Moreover, foreign politicians and public figures are not at all afraid that they can be declared persona non-grata in Ukraine.
In May, a group of Italian politicians, including senators Bartolomeo Pepe, Paola De Pin and Ivan Simeoni, member of the Chamber of Deputies Nikola Chiriachi, member of the Empoli City Council (Tuscany) Gabriele Sani, visited 2016 Crimea. Italian deputies held meetings with representatives of the Crimean Tatar community of the peninsula, during which they were convinced that the position stated by Kiev on the alleged discrimination of certain ethnic groups and peoples on the peninsula, to put it mildly, is not true. Visits of Crimea by foreign delegations indicate that in Europe, and in other regions of the world, there is a steady interest in the political and economic life of the peninsula. First of all, foreigners are interested in the possibility of renewing economic cooperation with the Crimean peninsula already in a new capacity - as with the region of the Russian Federation.
Kiev strenuously monitors any visits by foreigners to the Crimean peninsula, after which it comes out with notes of protest against those states whose citizens were part of the delegations that visited Crimea. Thus, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine even opened a criminal case against a group of French deputies who were on an official visit to the Crimean Peninsula on 23-24 on June 2015. Ukrainian prosecutors accuse the French of undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine. A criminal case was initiated against Japanese public activists who shot the documentary Russia Today in the Crimea. They also sew "undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine." However, it is not very clear how Ukrainian law enforcement agencies intend to prosecute foreign citizens, especially parliamentarians who are outside Ukraine.
By the way, about the Japanese. In June, 2016 was visited by the Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Sergey Naryshkin, who met with Japanese political and public figures and businessmen during his trip. One of the high-level Japanese politicians who attended the meeting was Yukio Hatoyama, in the 2009-2010 years. serving as prime minister of Japan. Since the emperor performs representative functions in Japan, the prime minister is actually the head of the Japanese executive power. Therefore, Yukio Hatoyama in 2009-2010's. was the leader of the Japanese state, but he could not overcome the influence of the United States.
As the reason for his resignation, Hatoyama voiced the fact that he failed to achieve the withdrawal of the American military base from Okinawa. But for the Okinawans, the presence of the American military base is a sore subject. American soldiers behave on the island as invaders, with many unpleasant stories and criminal offenses, including the rape of underage schoolgirls. Currently, Mr. Hatoyama heads the Russian-Japanese Friendship Society, and last year he also visited the Crimean Peninsula on 2015. Hatoyama has returned to the subject of the situation with the Crimea now - at a meeting with Sergey Naryshkin. Yukio Hatoyama stressed that during a trip to the Crimea, he was personally convinced that the situation on the peninsula was peaceful and normal and promised to convey his impressions to the attention of the world community. The former Japanese prime minister said that the referendum in Crimea was once held in accordance with the requirements of international law, and Japan should abandon the policy of anti-Russian sanctions that undermine the national economy. Of course, Japanese politicians who are in favor of recognizing Crimea as Russian are guided by pragmatic considerations of benefit for their own state, but on the whole, their position can benefit Russia.
Conviction of the harmfulness of anti-Russian sanctions is growing in Europe. The baton of the struggle for the abolition of sanctions began regional deputies - first in Italy, then in Germany. The small town of Quakenbrück is located in the federal state of Lower Saxony. In June 2016, it became known that the left-wing faction in the local self-government body raises the question of recognizing Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. Local MP Andreas Maurer stressed that ultimately Europe will have no choice but to recognize the legitimacy of the decision of the Crimean people to reunite with Russia. According to Andreas Maurer, anti-Russian sanctions had a negative impact on the German economy. In this, he agreed with politicians from the Italian region of Veneto, who also noted serious harm to the regional and Italian economy as a whole from the policy of anti-Russian sanctions. Recall that the deputy from Veneto Stefano Valdegamberi even cited data according to which only in the last one and a half years the Veneto region lost about 1 billion euros as a result of following the policy of anti-Russian sanctions. According to the deputy, the most serious blow was inflicted on the producers of meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable products, but the manufacturing industry of this Italian region also suffered from sanctions.
As in Italy, in Germany, first of all, agricultural producers, who previously sold their products to the Russian Federation, suffer. When Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions and banned the import of certain agricultural and other products from EU countries, Italian, German, French manufacturers lost a huge market. Andreas Maurer described the situation in the German agro-industrial complex as catastrophic, because having lost the Russian market, the German farmers suffer huge losses. The fall in prices for meat and dairy products in the domestic market, according to Maurer, has put many farms on the brink of ruin.
Maurer's words about the need to recognize Crimea as Russian caused another hysteria of official Kiev. Thus, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Federal Republic of Germany even turned to German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, demanding that the head of the German Foreign Ministry "put in place" deputy Andreas Maurer. This demand was very surprised by the deputy himself, since he was able to make sure that Ukrainian officials have a very rough idea of what a democratic form of political structure is and how the interaction between the branches of government is organized there.
Arguments in favor of lifting the sanctions against Russia in the EU countries are more and more often. It is clear that the policy of sanctions does not satisfy the pragmatic interests of European business, which, in turn, puts pressure on politicians through deputies. At the end of April 2016, the deputies of the lower house of the French parliament supported a resolution calling on the government to oppose anti-Russian sanctions. This proposal was made by MP Thierry Mariani, whose position was approved by the majority of his colleagues - parliamentarians. In early June, 2016 appealed to soften sanctions against Russia by the French Senate, the country's upper house of parliament. The 302 senator voted to mitigate the sanctions, while the 16 senators were against it. According to the French senators, who submitted the text of the resolution, the gradual easing of sanctions will contribute to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
However, the leadership of most European countries is forced to follow the general anti-Russian line of the European Union. So, despite the public opinion, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Eyreau said that EU sanctions against the Russian Federation will be extended. The position of the leadership of European countries does not change with regard to the Crimea. As you know, sanctions against Crimea are one of the three key components of the Western sanctions program against Russia, along with visa restrictions for individual Russian citizens and economic sanctions against a number of Russian state-owned companies in the oil, defense and financial sectors. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurtz called for seeking common ground with Russia and proceeding with a phased lifting of sanctions for every step taken towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Before that, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking in St. Petersburg, called on Russia to be the first to lift sanctions against EU countries in order to set an example for the leadership of European states. In response, Vladimir Putin then stressed that Russia would be ready for the abolition of counter-sanctions if it had not been afraid of being deceived by the European governments.
Meanwhile, the head of the presidential administration of Russia, Sergei Ivanov, said that he hoped for the extension of the sanctions regime between Russia and the countries of the West. According to Ivanov, the sanctions contributed to the development and diversification of domestic production. “Personally, I would like the sanctions against us to hold out longer, and not quickly be lifted. This is my personal opinion, ”said Sergey Ivanov. As the head of the presidential administration noted, at present economic sanctions do much more damage not to Russia, but to the economies of the EU countries. As we can see from the reaction of European politicians and entrepreneurs, this is true. Russia is a huge sales market, having lost that, the European economy annually loses huge profits. Therefore, to rely on the lifting of sanctions and this should be, first of all, in Berlin and Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, Vienna and Brussels, and not in Moscow.