Thierry Mariani and about 10 other centre-right Republican Party MPs arrived in Crimea on Thursday despite EU sanctions against Russia.
All but one of the French MPs are Republicans. The opposition party – formerly called the UMP – is led by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
They met Russian MPs in Moscow earlier on Thursday, including State Duma (lower house) speaker Sergei Naryshkin.
The lawmaker said the visit had not been coordinated with the French authorities, but added the French Foreign Ministry had warned the participants it wouldn’t support the idea. (Russia Today)