Tags: russian | warships | spain | refuel | withdrawn

Russian Warships' Spain Refuel Request Withdrawn After NATO Pressure

Image: Russian Warships' Spain Refuel Request Withdrawn After NATO Pressure

A photo taken from a Norwegian surveillance aircraft shows Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in international waters off the coast of Northern Norway on Oct. 17, 2016. (Norwegian Royal Airforce/NTB Scanpix/Handout via Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016 04:36 PM

According to Spanish authorities, Russia withdrew a request to refuel its flotilla of warships at the port of Ceuta after NATO allies pressured Spain to refuse the request.

NATO’s concern is that the Russian fleet is headed toward Syria to assist with the fighting at Aleppo, which has been going on for several years. Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is one of the ships traveling with the fleet, CNN reported.

Russia has previously supported President Assad of Syria, but Western powers have accused Assad of war crimes and made it clear they would like to see him removed from power. The U.S. and U.K. have both considered economic sanctions against Syria and Russia because of the Aleppo situation.

Spain had initially approved Russia’s request as it had done in the past, but was asked by NATO to reconsider. Russia then withdrew the request before Spain could comply.

NATO is monitoring the Russian battleships as they advance toward the eastern Mediterranean, possibly to the Syrian port of Tartus, from which it could launch air strikes, according to Reuters.

The situation is characteristic of rising tensions between Russia and Western allies. The withdrawal of the refueling request lets Spain off the hook, but tensions are sure to remain high as the Russian ships continue their route toward the Middle East.

NATO has responded to the Russian action by reinforcing troops in the area, planning to send more U.S., British, and German troops and tanks into the Baltic region next spring as a deterrent of future aggression.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes against the eastern section of Aleppo, CNN reported.

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According to Spanish authorities, Russia withdrew a request to refuel its flotilla of warships at the port of Ceuta after NATO allies pressured Spain to refuse the request.
russian, warships, spain, refuel, withdrawn
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2016-36-26
Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016 04:36 PM
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