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Ukraine Investigating French Lawmakers' Visit To Annexed Crimea

Ukraine has launched investigations into a recent visit by French lawmakers to annexed Crimea.

The probes were revealed by Ukrainian lawmaker Heorhiy Lohvinskiy, who on July 30 posted an official letter online from the Prosecutor-General's Office signed by Deputy Prosecutor-General Anatoliy Matios.

The letter says the investigations were launched into "the illegal entering and exiting of Ukraine's temporarily occupied territory" by French lawmakers.

On July 23, 10 deputies from the French National Assembly visited Crimea, which was forcibly seized by Russia from Ukraine in March 2014 and then hurriedly annexed by the Kremlin after an illegal referendum.

The French lawmakers said ahead of their visit that their goal was to "understand how the population lives" and "counter the disinformation of European media" about Russia's internationally unrecognized annexation.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he was "shocked" by the visit -- the first there by Western dignitaries since Russia annexed the peninsula.

Fabius also condemned the delegation's visit as a breach of international law.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry called the trip "irresponsible" and said it may impose entry bans on the French lawmakers.