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1,000 people taking part in All-Russia anti-NATO meeting in Ulyanovsk

April 21, 2012, 13:03 UTC+3

An All-Russia anti-NATO meeting has begun in Ulyanovsk

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ULYANOVSK, April 21 (Itar-Tass) —— An anti-NATO rally took place in Ulyanovsk on Saturday, April 21.

About 1,000 people gathered in Square of the 30th Anniversary of the Victory for a rally that followed by a march, the regional police department told Itar-Tass.

Ulyanovsk Region Governor Sergei Morozov demanded that the Communist Party make public apologies and officially deny its media statement on the so-called “NATO base” in Ulyanovsk.

“Relying on various rumours, the Communist Party manipulates the feelings of people, frightening them with all kinds of scary stories from a ‘velvet occupation of Russia’ by NATO forces to threats to the security of people living in Ulyanovsk from ‘NATO soldiers’,” the governor said in a statement circulated by his press service.

He quoted federal government senior officials as saying that the use of Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport for the transit of non-military cargoes does not require the creation of infrastructure facilities, control by or deployment of any personnel of foreign countries.

“By so doing our country fulfills its obligations to assist the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, which are stated in the U.N. Security Council resolution,” the statement said.

Morozov said earlier that commercial transportation of NATO's non-military cargoes would be carried out solely by Russian crews of the Russian companies Volga-Dnepr and Polyot.

He believes that there are enough facilities and personnel at Vostochny Airport for the mission. “No additional facilities will be built,” he said.

The governor also assured his fellow citizens that “there will be neither military base nor any other NATO military facilities in Ulyanovsk. And there will be no military or civilian NATO personnel at the transshipment point,” he said.

On April 19, the Communist Party issued a new statement with a protest against the creation of a NATO transshipment point in Ulyanovsk.

State Duma Defence Committee Chairman Vladimir Komoyedov of the Communist Party said earlier that a NATO cargo transhipment point, not a base, could be created in Ulyanovsk.

“In accordance with Russian legislation, cargoes transported through Russia will be examined by customs. The transshipment point in Ulyanovsk is not a NATO or U.S. military base,” Komoyedov cited the ministry as saying.

“A refusal to perform these international obligations assumed under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1386 in 2001 would have undermined Russia's reputation as a reliable partner in the security sphere,” he said.

This document calls for providing such necessary assistance to the coalition troops in Afghanistan as may be needed, including transit.

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