Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko stated that any attempts to block the International Military Exercises Sea Breeeze-2007 will be checked by law-enforcement agencies. Mr. Hrytsenko was speaking during a working trip to Odesa, the Cabinet’s press office reports.

He noted, in particular, that the decision on holding the international exercises on the territory of Ukraine was approved by the Verkhovna Rada.

The Minister said he did not think protests staged by some political forces to prevent the Sea Breeze exercises from happening were a right thing to do.

The Communist party stated on July 4 that it was planning to hold mass rallies against the international exercises expected to take place in Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

Moreover, over a thousand people participated the other day in a religious procession in Odesa to put a stop to the Sea Breeze. The protesters were planning to set up a tent camp at Odesa Marine Passenger Terminal on July 5, and to hold the first anti-NATO rally of protest on July 9, the official start of Sea Breeze-2007.

Natalia Vitrenko's political bloc is recruiting volunteers to participate in the protests.

The Defense Ministry expects that 1.2 thousand servicemen from 13 countries will take part in the tactic exercises. Ukraine will be represented by 10 ships, 3 airplanes, and 8 helicopters.


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