Monday, June 05, 2006
The visit last week to a Ukrainian port by a U.S. vessel carrying weapons was not a violation of the former Soviet republic's laws, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said. The SS Advantage cargo ship entered the Black Sea port of Feodosia last week, bringing in several dozen containers with firearms, military hardware and building materials for a multinational exercise, Sea Breeze 2006. "The American military did not violate the Ukrainian laws on the admission of foreign troops. The Advantage, which delivered hardware and arms for a military exercise, is not a warship," a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said.
SS AdvantageHe also said that the troops on board the vessel had crossed into Ukraine unarmed and could not therefore be classified as a foreign military unit. The vessel's arrival caused strong protests from local residents, public and political organizations. Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko and Human Rights Ombudsman Nina Karpachova insisted that an official inquiry be launched into the legality of the incident. Earlier this year, Ukraine's parliament passed a resolution barring foreign troops from entering the country to take part in military exercises on Ukrainian soil.