The Russian Communist Party has demanded that two referendums, an all-Russian and a regional one, be held over the projected deployment of a NATO transit base in the Volga city of Ulyanovsk, the party’s press service said on Friday.
Presently, Moscow is in talks with the United States on an unprecedented transport agreement, under which non-lethal cargos from Afghanistan would be flown to an airport in the city of Ulyanovsk in the Volga region, and then transferred to Europe by train.
Moscow says the offer would ease the strain on the alliance’s supply chain to forces in Afghanistan.
The agreement on the NATO Afghan cargo transit hub is not coming into force yet, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. “This draft agreement… has not come into force yet, it has not yet been considered by the government,” Lavrov told State Duma members.
“We demand that a referendum “Do you approve of the deployment of a NATO base in the city of Ulyanovsk?” be held among the residents of the Ulyanovsk Region before the final decision is taken,” the communists said in a statement issued on their website.
An all-Russian referendum should “answer a question on how to preserve Russia’s sovereignty, integrity and independence,” the party said.