Talk of disturbances misinformation: Crimean government head

Indo Asian News Service

Talk of disturbances misinformation: Crimean government head (With Crimea: Steeped in history, immensely popular tourist resort)

Yalta (Crimea), Oct 31 (IANS) As Crimea looks forward to inviting tourists from different countries, including India, Head of Republic Sergei Aksyonov has said that stories of disturbances in the region are misplaced -- and provoked by the West.

"Such misinformation is only given by agencies that are under the control of Western owners in the USA or Europe," Aksyonov told this visiting IANS correspondent.

"I was in India last year as part of a delegation. I was very impressed with the journey; it was very interesting. Our relations with India will be growing rapidly," he said.

Aksyonov was in India in 2014 as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's delegation. This was after Russia had annexed Crimea following what the West has termed a fixed referendum -- 97 per cent had voted in favour of joining Russia. Before that, the region had been with the Ukraine following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Soon after, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution with 100 countries, including the US, the UK and Japan, backing Ukraine's "territorial integrity".

India as well as China and Pakistan were among 58 countries that abstained from voting.

"There is no war; you can walk on streets, it is totally safe. There is an illusion that there are tanks and Kalashnikovs on the streets. See for yourself, it is not true," Aksyonov said.

He also invited Indian investors to Crimea.

"I am ready to personally support and push Indian projects in Crimea," he said.

He also said that the Crimean government aimed at getting airfares reduced during the off-season, especially for those who come to Crimea for health benefits and treatment.