The coordinator of the Russian State Duma group on relations with the parliament of Syria Dmitry Sablin, arrived in Syria on Sunday and plans to invite Tartus Governor Safwan Abu Saad to visit annexed Sevastopol, reports Russian Interfax news agency.
In early 2019, Saad signed an agreement on economic and cultural cooperation with Sevastopol.
In January of this year, the former Russian head of Sevastopol Dmitry Ovsyannikov visited Syria as part of the Russian delegation.
In April 2018, Russian State Duma Deputy Dmitry Sablin said that the children of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Crimean children's camp Artek in 2017.
Syria was among the 27 countries that voted against the UN General Assembly's resolution on human rights in Crimea, currently controlled by Russia.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the occupation and annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.