Foreign tourists have nothing to fear when they come to Crimea, the republic’s head said in an interview with independent British journalist Graham Phillips.
"Unfortunately, often Western media give a wrong viewpoint, misinform people who live on the territory of Great Britain, other European countries, say it is unsafe in Crimea," Sergey Aksyonov said. "We realize that it’s safe here. You had a chance to personally make sure that we have no problems with it."
Phillips, in turn, said warnings of the British authorities of an alleged danger in Crimea have nothing to do with reality.
Earlier, Aksyonov said he is ready to communicate with Western journalists telling the truth about events on the peninsula. He advised media representatives to go out to the streets of Crimean cities and poll the population whether people are contented with what is going on.
"I am convinced that over 90% of responses will be with support of what happened last year in Crimea [reunification with Russia]," he said.
Phillips worked last summer in southeast Ukraine, after which he was deported. The Ukrainian authorities banned him entry to the country’s territory for three years.
For incorporation of Crimea after last year’s coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as claims that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.
Crimea seceded from Ukraine after a referendum on self-determination on March 16, 2014. After that, the peninsula became part of the Russian Federation. Crimea and Sevastopol were incorporated by Russia as separate constituent members.