Residents In Feodosia Protest Arrival Of NATO Warship

KIEV, Ukraine -- The arrival of a U.S. naval ship with military hardware and marines has sparked off protests in Feodosia, Crimea.

Feodosia port at night

Inter TV channel reported Sunday evening that the unloading of vehicles, arms and construction equipment from the military transport ship Advantage began at the seaport of Feodosia.

Local residents staged an impromptu rally at the gate of the port protesting the arrival of the naval vessel without the permission of the national parliament.

They stressed that the seaport in Feodosia is commercial and foreign naval ships are not allowed to call on it. They said they had sent a letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andryi Lysenko said the Americans had arrived to prepare the Sea Breeze-2006 exercises to which 40 countries have been invited.

He said the ministry regards as a temporary problem the absence of permission from parliament for the presence of the Americans.

Source: Interfax