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    August 3, 2016

    French MPs visit to Crimea again at ground zero of French politics

    Thierry Mariani at the August 1, 2016 press conference

    Karine Bechet-Golovko
    In Russie politics, August 2, 2016. Translated from French by Tom Winter August 3, 20

    The annual visit of French parliamentarians in Crimea still causes quite a stir. One would think that the French political class would eventually open its eyes after the vote against the anti-Russian sanctions and understand that it is more urgent to return to a policy that takes into account the interests of France, as they got elected to do. But no, the urgency remains clearly elsewhere. 

    And the Socialists join the level of Ukrainian journalists sent to spread their propaganda in Moscow. So it's back to charges bordering on fanaticism made against Thierry Mariani and the French parliamentarians who've become "dissidents".


    After their visit to Crimea, the group of 11 French parliamentarians, five of them for the first time, gave a press conference. Yes, Crimea is Russian, historically, religiously and legally and the popultion is not worried, but happy. It is tedious to have to repeat the obvious over and over to people who do not want to see, but we can be glad to see it done.

    The discussion was going right along until a Ukrainian journalist, well-known in Russian circles, raised his customary provocation:

    This journalist from the UNIAN agency asked two questions: the first asking whether the French government would grant visas to Russians if they had annexed Corsica and then how much French parliamentarians were paid by Moscow for this propaganda.

    Thierry Mariani reacted very precisely and very strongly: by refusing to answer the second question, which he called "a question of shit." He thus had the wisdom to show that there is a barrier, a minimum ethics that must exist in the journalistic profession. This is what makes the difference between a journalist and propagandist. 

    Now this Ukrainian "journalist," speaking on Russian TV on political programs consistently transgresses this boundary, and has gotten used to having nobody put him in his place.

    He is Ukrainian, therefore "victim", therefore "democratic", the only "true European" on those panels. The free speech that is granted him is not that of journalism, but it is the speech allowed to the Ukrainian propaganda in Russia. 

    Note that in Ukraine, Russian journalists are not free to speak, unless it's to spit on Russia and defend the Ukrainian nationalists.

    It is amusing that this concept - Ukrainian - freedom of expression, is hardly found in the home of human rights, France. The foreign minister J-M Ayrault totally disapproves this initiative; the media and most politicians criticize this approach, counting it an allegiance "to Putin's Russia, which annexed the Crimea." This negligence has even gone to the level of this insult by a Socialist deputy, Alexis Bachelay, who accused them of picking up their checks in Moscow. 

    Thierry Mariani will sue him.

    The Ukrainian embassy took offense at this visit; their reaction goes way over the line of diplomatic culture. Their tweet:


    "Absolute impudence of these French MPs exhibiting the fascination for the Russian Army that annexed the Crimea"

    It is true that politics is on twitter now. The imitation of politics. Because hypocrisy is in power: 

    "If we cut out the hypocrisy, everyone knows that the Crimea is Russian" [a counter-tweet]

    But instead of cutting it out, they run with it. 

    Finally, Ukraine is ready to join the EU, for it fully shares the values and the belligerence of the EU, including the Fight against political pluralism, the sentencing of national sovereignty to death, and the restriction of freedom of expression. 

    It is at the forefront of Europeanness.
        
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