The head of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association, Thierry Mariani, wished the residents of the Crimean Peninsula well, during an event held in Simferopol on Friday, marking the fifth anniversary of unification with Russia.

"We are very happy for you," said Mariani in Russian. "Long live the Russian Crimea."

He added in French that "with this referendum" you have chosen "to return to your motherland."

Leaders of the State Duma as well as heads of federal and Crimean ministries also took part in the event.

Men in Cossack attire from Abkhazia, the Donetsk Republic and Crimea marched together, as a part of the festivities taking place all over the city.

Festivities were held throughout Crimea on Friday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia.

In a referendum held in 2014, 96.7 percent of Crimeans and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol residents voted in favour of joining the Russian Federation.

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