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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ukrainian parliament ratifies naval base deal with Russia

RIA Novosti


KIEV, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Ukrainian parliament has ratified the naval base deal with Russia amid brawls in the chamber and clashes outside parliament, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Tuesday.

A total of 236 deputies voted for the ratification with a minimum of 226 needed to pass the bill.

The hearings started with a brawl and eggs were thrown at the parliamentary speaker. However, it took lawmakers 40 minutes to ratify the deal, extending the Russian Navy base in Crimea for another 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017.

The speaking rostrum was guarded by lawmakers of the Party of Regions, who protected the speaker with umbrellas. Sporadic brawls broke out in the parliament.

Several lawmakers walked out of the Ukrainian parliament as two smoke bombs were thrown during the hearings, but the session continued against all odds.

About 7,000 protestors and supporters gathered in front of the parliament.

Ukrainian police and the country's opposition had clashes in front of the Ukrainian parliament, the Supreme Rada.

The protesters, led by former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko's secretary, Vera Ulyanchenko, tried to get through into the parliamentary building, however their attempts were suppressed by police.