The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has sent a note of protest to Moscow regarding the visit of the Russian State Duma’s (lower house of parliament) delegation to Crimea, headed by its speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s press service, this is a "gross violation of Ukraine’s state sovereignty, international law and the UN Charter." "We have sent a note of protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry," the press service added.
After the coup d’·tat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol officials held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Eighty percent of the voting population participated in the referendum. The Russian president signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev, along with various predominantly Western countries, refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.
On March 15, the Russian State Duma delegation will take part in the celebratory events timed to the fifth anniversary of the so-called "Crimean spring". Over 40 MPs headed by Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin form part of the delegation. Russian Minister of Education Olga Vasilyeva and Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova have also arrived in Crimea.