The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday permitted NATO troops to participate in drills in the country in 2010. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law “On approval of decision of the President of Ukraine on permission for subdivisions of foreign armed forces to participate in multinational military exercise at the territory of Ukraine in 2010”.
394 out of 433 lawmakers of Ukraine registered in the session hall voted for this decision. The CPU faction did not vote for this decision.
In 2009, parliament defied then-President Viktor Yushchenko and refused to approve the U.S.-led multinational Sea Breeze military exercise. But this year, deputies voted in favor of the drills, which will see the participation of some 3,000 people from 18 countries.
New Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has indicated that Ukraine will drop his predecessor's plans to attempt to seek NATO membership, a proposal that infuriated Russia, but has also indicated that he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.
Sea Breeze drills in 2008 saw protesters set up camps along the Black Sea coast, and reportedly attempt to prevent foreign warships participating in the exercises from leaving the port of Odessa.
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