Russia voices ”concern” over NATO exercises in Ukraine

09:42, 21 July 2008
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"The participation of states from outside the region raise some degree of concern..."

Russia`s foreign ministry on Friday expressed "concern" about the Sea Breeze-2008 military exercises which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance began earlier this week in neighboring Ukraine, according to AFP.

"The nature of the exercises, the attempts to present them as anti-Russian and the participation of states from outside the region inevitably raise questions and some degree of concern," the ministry said in a statement.

"Why was the Black Sea chosen to achieve the dubious goals of these exercises? One would think the countries surrounding the sea are capable of acting themselves, without `paternalistic` interference from without, to guarantee security and stability on the Black Sea."

The Sea Breeze-2008 exercises were launched Monday in Ukraine`s Black Sea port of Odessa amid protests by several dozen Ukrainians.

In addition to U.S. troops, the exercises include forces from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the U.K., Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia and Turkey. They run until July 26.

AFP, Nasdaq

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