Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean government, the permanent representative of the Republic under the President of the Russian Federation Georgy Muradov said that “Friends of Crimea” clubs within the framework of the development of people's diplomacy have been created in more than 15 countries in a short period of time.
Muradov recalled that in April the second Forum of Friends of Crimea was held in the framework of the fourth Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF).
"The meeting was marked by a serious increase of the number of Friends of Crimea, both in terms of the number of participating countries and now there are more than 40 of them and by the number of concrete individuals who join this social movement. It acquires a very active form and covers almost all continents. "National “Friends of Crimea” clubs are being created with the help of our foreign colleagues," Muradov said.
According to him, clubs established in other countries are not legal entities: it is informal work within the framework of people's diplomacy.
People who are acting in the interests of restoring and establishing cooperation between their countries and Russia understand that first of all it's necessary to decide the question of recognizing Crimea as a part of Russia and stopping the illegal sanctions policy," the diplomat explained.
He recalled that the International Association of Friends of Crimea was established only in November last year. "At the Forum of Friends of Crimea representatives of a dozen countries reported that country clubs have been set up and mostly by European countries. Similar clubs have been established in China, Tunisia and a number of other Arab countries," Muradov said.
He also said that “Friends of Crimea” clubs are planned to be established even in remote African states, such as Cote d'Ivoire. These countries, according to Georgy Muradov, have economic and political potential, which is often underestimated. For example, during the annual vote at the UN General Assembly, when anti-Russian and anti-Crimean resolutions are being considered, these countries often observe neutrality. According to him, out of 193 countries around 70 support the Western point of view on the Crimean issue and only 30 support the Russian one. At the same time, most of the countries abstain or do not vote at all.
"When representatives of these countries come to Crimea for the first time and see with their own eyes the harmonious, peaceful life of residents of Crimea, they cease to believe in the Western propaganda and will treat the voting procedure in the UN on the Crimean issue differently, which is the meaning of inviting a large number of small states to the forum. Their representatives with great warmth accepted the fact of invitation, and their participation in the forum. They found partners in business, interlocutors and like-minded people in the sphere of politics," said Muradov.