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Ukraine Says Russian Sailors Immigrating Illegally

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Interior Ministry says Russian seamen are regularly violating immigration laws in Sevastopol, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The ministry says that in the last five months, there have been 135 cases of sailors from Russia's Black Sea Fleet violating Ukrainian immigration laws.

Last week the Black Sea Fleet leadership protested Ukraine's "mass checking" of documents among Black Sea Fleet personnel, calling it "an unfriendly move directed against Russian-Ukrainian relations."

Ukraine's Interior Ministry says 10 percent of the illegal immigrants in the Crimean city of Sevastopol are Russian sailors.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol under a special agreement made after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The fleet's presence there has been a source of increasing tension between Kyiv and Moscow.