Prague, June 17 (CTK) – Czech MEP Miloslav Ransdorf (Communists, KSCM) is to visit Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March 2014, and this is why it is rather controversial for European politicians to travel there, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes Wednesday.
It adds that Ransdorf has been invited to Crimea by the Format-a3 international media club over his views of the Ukrainaian crisis for which he blames the USA. The club presents him as “a representative of Czech intellectuals with a penetrating mind.”
Ransdorf confirmed to LN on Tuesday that he was planning to go to Crimea to lecture on the EU. He said he had been invited by the media club during his visit to Tallinn. He is to give his lecture in Simferopol, Crimea, on June 18.
The problem is that no one, including the EU, has recognised the annexation of Crimea and for European politicians it is an extremely sensitive matter to travel there, LN says.
Moreover, Format-a3 is not a mere “discussion platform” as Ransdorf presents it, but rather a pro-government promotional agency. It was founded by journalists from the Komsomolskaya Pravda Russian pro-government paper and the state TV channel Rossiya in 2009, LN says.
It is apparent that the organisers in Crimea have chosen Ransdorf as a politician to support the official Russians stance, that is to condemn the U.S. policy, present the EU as a victim of U.S. cunningness and call for alliance with the Kremlin, LN writes.
The media club’s website presents Ransdorf as an opponent of Euroatlantic partnership.
“The main task and main problem of the USA is not to allow for the strategic partnership of Germany and Russia, or in a broader sense of the EU and Russia. This si exactly why war had to return to Europe. The war in Ukraine,” the website cites Ransdorf as saying.
In another quotation, Ransdorf warns of the “American totalitarianism” and calls on Europe to ally with Russia and lift the anti-Russian sanctions,LN adds
The media club also cites Ransdorf as saying that Czechs would vote against the EU entry in a referendum, though in 2003, 74 percent supported it. The Czech Republic joined the EU in May 2004.
However, Ransdorf will definitely score the biggest success with his policy of “egalitarianism,” which is popular in Russia and Crimea, LN says.
It writes that Format-a3 operates mainly in the former Soviet republics where he is defending the interests of Russian-speaking journalists and pointing out the violations of their rights, among other things. Apart from Crimea, it has its branches in Moldova, Latvia and Lithuania.
Most recently, the club has invited Russian political scientist Sergei Mikheyev, who supports the Russian aggressive foreign policy, and his Ukrainian colleague Rostislav Ishchenko who fled for Moscow in 2014.
Though it is not officially banned to travel to Crimea, it is part of “good manners” in Europe not to accept the fact that Russia requires its visas from visitors to this peninsula, LN adds.