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Russia Withdraws Refuelling Request to Spain

Wed 26th Oct 2016
Russia Withdraws Refuelling Request to Spain

Russia has withdrawn its request to Spain for a refuelling stop over in Ceuta by a naval battle group en route to Syria.

The withdrawal of the request comes amidst mounting criticism and condemnation against Spain from NATO and EU allied nations who insist it is wrong that a NATO allies should act in such a hypocritical way and support Russia, especially at a time of heightened tensions.

In a statement to the BBC, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said permission had been granted in September for THREE Russian ships to dock in Ceuta between 28th October and 2nd November. Adding, “Such stops for Russian naval vessels had taken places for years in Spanish ports.”

In 2015, Spain was heavily frowned upon by Britain and the US for providing support services to the Russian Navy after NATO allies and the EU imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine.

At the time, Spain brushed off the criticism stating it allowed them to gather intelligence.

However, it is worth noting that visiting Russian naval vessels provide several million Euros of income for the tiny North African colony and ultimately state treasury coffers.

On this occasion though, the Spanish Foreign Ministry requested clarification from the Russian embassy in Madrid saying “Given the information which appeared on the possibility that these ships would participate in supporting military action in the Syrian city of Aleppo”

As a result, Russia withdrew its request in what appears to be a political solution rather than Spain simply revoking permission.

The flotilla, led by Russia's only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, includes a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, two anti-submarine warships and four support vessels, probably escorted by submarines.

Late last week, the same battle group cruised through the English Channel closely flanked by British Royal Navy warships.

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