The Mayor’s office of Nice, France reported that the city Mayor, Christian Estrosi, is planning to make a friendly visit to Yalta in the second half of May. It was also mentioned in the statement made by the Mayor’s Office to Krym.Realii that cooperation between the two cities in the areas of economy, culture, tourism, healthcare, sports and education is expected.
The press service of the Mayor’s Office of Nice explained that the signing of the memorandum of cooperation and friendly relations with Crimean Yalta was based on the long history of relations between the cities and the need to support the winter capital of Nice on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“This means that Nice is considered on par with other winter tourist resorts. In particular, it is comparable with Yalta, which has identical geographical features (climate, vegetation, the breadth of landscape and reliefs) with Nice. Both Yalta and Nice have always attracted similar tourists – aristocrats and high levels of society. Sometimes, Yalta is called the Russian Nice,” the statement says.
Yalta wasn’t referred to as a part of Russia or Ukraine in the official statement of the press service of the Mayor’s office of Nice published on the website of the office. It was simply mentioned that Yalta has been a sister city of Nice since 1960.
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi confirmed that he has received the letter regarding his meeting with the Mayor of Yalta from the Ambassador of Ukraine to France, Oleh Shamshur, and promised to respond to his letter in the near future. Estrosi reported on his website on the 2nd of March that he had met with the delegation from Yalta, headed by the head of the State Administration, Andrey Rostenko, and Russia’s Ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov, who visited on behalf of Russia.
The representatives of Yalta visited Nice from the 29th of February to the 1st of March; cooperation agreements were signed during this time. The report stated that Crimean Yalta is a part of Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is outraged by Rostenko’s visit to Nice. According to the statement of Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, this visit contradicts the norms of international law.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has distanced itself from the position of the Mayor of Nice, who received the delegation from Yalta and called the Crimean Peninsula part of Russia. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially declared on the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea by Russian on the 20th of February 2014. On the 7th of October, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko signed the corresponding law recognizing the occupation.