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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kiev's parliament allows foreign troops to exercise in Ukraine

RIA Novosti

21:37 12/05/2011 KIEV, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's parliament approved on Thursday a special presidential decree permitting foreign troops to participate in joint military drills in the former Soviet republic.

Non-Ukrainian servicemen will be allowed to take part in exercises on Ukraine's territory for the first time since the large-scale U.S.-led multinational naval drill Sea Breeze was scuttled in 2009 when the Ukrainian parliament defied then-President Viktor Yushchenko and refused to approve the exercise.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has indicated that Ukraine will drop his predecessor Viktor Yuschenko's plans to attempt to seek NATO membership, a proposal that infuriated Russia, but has also indicated that he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.

At least three multinational military drills, Sea Breeze, the Russian-Ukrainian Rapid Trident-2011 and Fairwater of Peace, are set to be held in Ukraine this year.