Protests held as US Navy ship arrives at Crimean base
Photo: Associated press

Protests held as US Navy ship arrives at Crimean base

25 Mar, 02:57 PM

About 500 pro-Russia protesters cried "NATO out" Wednesday as a US naval frigate arrived in the Ukrainian naval port of Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea fleet is also based, Nasdaq reports.

The USS Klakring docked at 09.30 Moscow time, as about 250 largely communist and far- left demonstrators also shouted "Yankee go home!"

The frigate is in port for a five-day "friendly visit" and will not take part in any exercises, a Ukrainian navy statement said.

It is feared that Sevastopol in the Crimea, where the Russian fleet has maintained a presence for over 200 years, could become a flashpoint in strained relations between Russia and the West.

Russia signed a 20-year contract with Ukraine in 1997 to station its fleet in the Black Sea and makes an annual payment of $12 million to Kiev for the privilege.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly called for the fleet to leave Sevastopol when the lease expires in 2017.

 

 

Tags: NATO, Crimea, Black Sea,

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