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Protests mark Ukraine vote on Russian navy base stay

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Protests mark Ukraine vote on Russian navy base stay


There have been chaotic scenes in Ukraine’s parliament over its decision to allow the Russian navy to extend its stay in a Ukrainian port.
Scuffles broke out in the chamber as opposition lawmakers voiced their anger and tried to unfurl Ukrainian flags.
Smoke bombs were released and eggs aimed at the Speaker forcing him to take shelter under umbrellas provided by bodyguards.
At the same time, thousands of people protested outside the building.
Opponents say that by hosting the Black Sea fleet Ukraine could be dragged into future conflicts Moscow has with other powers.
But government supporters argue the deal will help strengthen ties with Moscow and boost Kiev’s struggling economy.
Ukraine agreed to extend its lease until 2042 in exchange for a 30 percent cut in the price of Russian gas.
The Russian fleet has been based in Sevastopol since the 18th century and the region retains a strongly Russian-leaning population.

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