Protests as Ukraine Approves Russian Base Extension

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From Reuters:  Opposition lawmakers hurled eggs and smoke bombs inside Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday as the chamber approved an agreement allowing the Russian Navy to extend its stay in a Ukrainian port until 2042. …

"Today will go down as a black page in the history of Ukraine and the Ukrainian parliament,’ opposition leader and former premier Yulia Tymoshenko told journalists inside parliament.

The chamber filled with smoke as the smoke bombs were released and Speaker Volodymyr Litvyn took shelter under umbrellas provided by bodyguards as eggs rained down on him.

Protesting deputies unfurled huge Ukrainian flags across the benches.

Ukrainian nationalists, led by Tymoshenko and former President Viktor Yushchenko, regard the base as a betrayal of Ukraine’s national interests. They wanted to remove it when the existing lease runs out in 2017.

But parliament ratified the lease extension by 236 votes — 10 more than the minimum required for it to pass — and then promptly adopted the 2010 state budget which is key for securing $12 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund.  (photo: AP)

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