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Russian general: Constitution bans foreign troops in Ukraine

February 25, 2014, 15:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
However, the defense enterprises of Russia and Ukraine would continue economic cooperation no matter who came to power in the country, Viktor Yesin said
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Ships of the international "Blackseafor" naval group in Ukraine's Sevastopol (archive)

Ships of the international "Blackseafor" naval group in Ukraine's Sevastopol (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Alexai Pavlishak

MOSCOW, February 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine's Constitution prevents foreign military bases and foreign nuclear weapons being brought onto the country’s territory, former chief of staff of the Russian strategic missile troops Colonel General Viktor Yesin said on Tuesday.

However, the defense enterprises of both countries would continue economic cooperation no matter who came to power in Ukraine, he said.

“I rule out that any foreign nuclear weapons and even military bases will appear in Ukraine because foreign troops cannot stay in the country according to the Constitution,” Yesin said. The only exception was made for Russia and this was “moreover, a temporary one”, he said.

Other countries, including NATO states, were not interested in military bases in Ukraine, the general said. “Why do they need this irritating factor?” he asked.

“In the military aspect, this step does not give anything while from the political point of view this is a big mistake,” Yesin added. The general recalled that Ukraine and the United States had planned to hold joint military exercises in the Crimea, but these had not taken place.

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