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Russia could not let NATO troops enter Sevastopol — Putin

MOSCOW, July 01, 15:52 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia could not afford to let NATO troops arrive in Sevastopol to radically change the balance of force in the Black Sea basin, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of Russia’s ambassadors and permanent representatives.

“We could not afford to leave Crimea’s people and the people of Sevastopol at the mercy of militant nationalists and radicals. We could not afford to agree to a considerable restriction of our access to the Black Sea and to let NATO troops step on Crimea’s soil and enter Sevastopol, which still remember the valor and glory of Russian soldiers and sailors. We could not afford a radical change in the balance of force in the Black Sea," the president said.