Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Hadja Lahbib, visited occupied
Crimea in July 2021. This is reported by
The stay of
Lahbib, who was a TV presenter and journalist then, on the territory of the
occupied peninsula is evidenced by her own and other posts on social networks,
as well as comments on television.
So, on July
24, 2021, she published a message on her Instagram about coming to Sevastopol.
“Arrival in the bay of Sevastopol, strange destination isn't it?" she captioned the photo. The next day, Hadja Lahbib publishes a photo of evening Sevastopol.
Hadja Lahbib came to the "Global Values" festival, which was organized by the Sevastopol Academic Russian Drama Theater named after Lunacharsky. In 2021, it was held on July 23-25. Lahbib was tagged in one of the posts about the festival on Facebook, which she also shared on her own page with the comment "Intensive moments of creation". In her Instagram fragments of a choreographic performance from it can be seen. Later, on the air, she talked about the festival as the main purpose of this trip.
posted on Facebook photos from the Livadia Palace with an exposition about the
Yalta Conference and from Chekhov's residence in Yalta. These posts were
published on July 26-28.
Later, on RTBF, she was asked
about the trip, emphasizing the specific situation of the occupied peninsula
and asking whether she was returning "from Ukraine or from Russia".
She does not give a direct answer, starting with the fact that "to land at the Simferopol airport, you need a Russian visa", and then included in direct language the comment of a Russian passer-by from Sevastopol bay, who had said that "Crimea has always had Russian culture and no connection with Ukrainian culture".
"Of course, the answer would be different if I handed the microphone to a Crimean Tatar or a Ukrainian", Lahbib notes.
Later, on the same air, when talking about the trip, she casually used the phrase that she went "to Russia". On the question of whether this festival in Crimea was the subject of a documentary film that she was preparing at that time, the answer was, “Yes, and for that, I went to Russia”.