MOSCOW, April 7 (UPI) -- Opponents of a plan to allow NATO to use a Russian airport for transporting soldiers and military cargo to and from Afghanistan protested in Moscow Saturday.
Communist Party supporters, carrying red flags and banners, joined left-wing activists at Pushkinskaya Square for the rally, RIA Novosti reported.
Opponents say the Kremlin's plan to allow NATO to set up a hub in the Volga region city of Ulyanovsk would undermine Russia's national security.
But Russian officials dismiss the concerns, saying no lethal cargo would be transported through the hub, which would be subject to customs checks.
Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told lawmakers, "We are helping the coalition ... primarily out of our own national interest." He called the plan "a means to assist those who are eradicating the threats of terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan."