Appeared on the eve of the military sources that the ships Russian aircraft carrier group heading to the Mediterranean headed by the cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov”, to stop for refueling in the Spanish port of Ceuta, sparked a wave of criticism of Madrid on the part of Western politicians. Spain, a member of NATO, criticized for the fact that its decision is contrary to the policy of the Alliance. While the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization condemned Russia’s actions in Syria, Madrid allowed to refuel in a port to Russian ships, which, as was reported previously, can be used for a decisive attack in Aleppo, Syria.
A number of Western politicians and military criticized Madrid for permission to visit of the Russian ships in the Spanish port, writes The Telegraph. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that the carrier group Russia can be used for bombing civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
According to him, each country of the Alliance “will have to decide whether or not these ships to replenish supplies and fuel in the ports on the way to the Eastern part of the Mediterranean sea.” “But at the same time we are worried, and I expressed it very clearly, the possible use of this battle group to empower Russia and as a platform for air strikes on Syria,” – said Stoltenberg.
A spokesman for the British foreign Ministry stated that “authorization for entry into
port of Spain is the Spanish authorities”, reports “Interfax”. However, the diplomat recalled that “Her Majesty’s government had previously expressed concern to the government of Spain on the occasion of his hospitality to Russian ships in that time, as all concerned about the military activity of Russia”.
Former British defence Secretary Gerald Howarth called issued by Spain permit refueling of the Russian ships “completely inappropriate”. “Spain is a NATO member, and NATO has faced challenges from Russia, and not only in the Baltic States. Russian accused of indiscriminate bombing of Aleppo and Syria in General, and to provide them with military assistance would be inappropriate,” – said the former head of the British defense Ministry.
The former commander of the UK Royal Navy, Lord Alan West called the behavior of Spain as a NATO ally “extraordinary” in terms of sanctions against Russia.
The former Prime Minister of Belgium, guy Verhofstadt, on Twitter called the sanction of Spain to refuel Russian ships “scandalous”. “Last week, Spain has signed an EU statement about the war crimes of Russia in Aleppo, today, helps refuel the fleet on the way to commit even greater atrocities. Seriously?” – wrote in his microblog politician actively acting for sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Syria.
Madrid may revise the permit for refueling
In Spanish foreign Minister had earlier said that requests from the Russian Navy will be considered “in each case depending on the characteristics of the vessel”. “Court of the Russian Navy for many years, came to Spanish ports,” – said the press Secretary of the foreign Ministry.
Later, the Spanish newspaper ABC Espana , citing sources in the Spanish foreign Ministry said that “the last requests of Russia on entering the port of Ceuta is currently being revised based on information received from the allies (of the Kingdom) and the Russian authorities.”
On the eve sources are in the armed forces of Spain Espana told the ABC that some of the ships or submarines that accompany the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” on his way to the Mediterranean sea, will enter the port of Ceuta, to restock. Ceuta and Melilla are part of Spain, not included in the treaties of NATO, the territories defended by the Alliance, so the fact of the visit of the Russian ships to Ceuta does not violate the agreement of Spain with its NATO allies. The Spanish enclave of Ceuta located on the North coast of Morocco, directly opposite Gibraltar.
The sources said that two ships of the Spanish Navy frigate Almirante Juan de Borbon and the support ship Cantabria included in the task force of NATO, accompanied by Russian ships in international waters in the area South of Galicia. It was expected that a group of Russian warships will be held on Tuesday through the Strait of Gibraltar.
Previously Spain has been criticized by the allies in the North Atlantic Alliance that gives Russia access to the ports in Ceuta. In may 2016, the US Congress even passed an amendment to the law on national defence of the country by 2017, which will require the Pentagon to report on what NATO countries allowed Russian warships to enter their ports.
The initiator of the amendment, Republican Congressman Joe Pitts said at the time that “resolving Spain Russian ships to enter the port of Ceuta undermines the solidarity of the NATO countries”. The experts noted that the Russian military court so often go to Ceuta, which made the Spanish enclave in the main base of the Russian fleet in the Western Mediterranean.
NATO countries are closely watching the movement of naval groups in Russia from the beginning of her campaign. A source in the Alliance assumed that aircraft on Board the “Kuznetsov” can be used in the final assault on Aleppo.
Fighters air force of great Britain previously approached with the Russian “Armada” during her passage through the English channel. Video passing through the Strait published by the British broadcasting Corporation BBC. The movement of aircraft carrier group of the Russian Federation followed the British destroyer Duncan and frigates Richmond and Dutch missile frigate “Evertsen” and the Belgian frigate “Leopold I”.
Earlier, the Russian aircraft carrier group held off the coast of Norway. The Norwegian coast patrol aircraft the Lockheed P-3 Orion 17 Oct did pictures of ships. Against this background, the head of the intelligence service of Norway, Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde said that the Russian strike team, most likely, will play a crucial role in the battle for Aleppo.
On Saturday, October 15, naval aircraft carrier group of the Northern fleet began the trip from Severomorsk in the Mediterranean area. The group is the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, large antisubmarine ships
“Severomorsk” and “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” and the ships security.