The head of delegation of European politicians, French MEP Thierry Mariani has compared the Crimea at the time of being a part of Ukraine with sleeping beauty, adding that only after the reunification of the Peninsula with Russia in the region began a recovery.

The delegation arrived in the Crimea on Tuesday. In was composed of nine people, including five French members of the European Parliament.

"I first came to Crimea in 1995, when he was still Ukrainian. Then I was involved in the restoration of the military cemetery in Sevastopol and really watched with my own eyes all the evolution that Crimea has passed since then, with the moment of stagnation, frozen, like sleeping beauty, we can say Crimea in the ice was, and the restart the revolution, the restoration, which began in 2014, when the Crimea by a referendum decided again to reunite with Russia", – said Mariani.

Mariani said that this is his seventh visit to the Crimea.

Crimea became a Russian region after held there in March 2014 referendum in which 96.77% of voters of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of residents of Sevastopol voted for joining Russia. Ukraine still considers Crimea its but temporarily occupied territory. The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the inhabitants of Crimea democratically in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter voted for reunification with Russia. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Crimea "permanently closed".