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Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi to Visit Crimea

Christian Estrosi
Christian Estrosi via Paris Match

News from the Crimean peninsula speaks of good news for residents there. According to a report from TASS, the Mayor of France’s Nice, Christian Estrosi, plans to visit Crimea in May, in order

to sign a cooperation agreement with the resort city of Yalta. A delegation from Yalta just returned from Nice, having accepted the invitation of Mr. Estrosi. While the delegation was there, a memorandum of continued friendly relations between the two cities was signed. The head of the Yalta administration, Andrei Rostenko had this to add: 

"Agreements have been reached on the reciprocal visit of the Nice mayor to Crimea, to Yalta, with the goal of signing a cooperation agreement. The possible date is the second half of May."

The previous agreement, sighed way back 1960, is the basis for the ongoing relationship. However, the acceptance of the status of Crimea as Russia’s territory is a huge and fundamental aspect of this news. So far only two countries - Abkhazia and Nicaragua have officially recognized Crimea as part of Russia. Since March 2014, when the Black Sea peninsula rejoined Russia, more than 10 foreign delegations have visited Crimea. Interestingly, it was a group of French lawmakers led by Thierry Mariani, who broke the political blockade of Crimea in the summer of 2015.

Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also paid a private visit to Crimea at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s Lega Nord (North League) party, has also voiced his intentions of visiting Crimea for a second time. In addition, Japan's Kimura Mitsuhiro, the leader socio-political organization Issuikai, has visited Crimea four times since the peninsula’s reunification with Russia.