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Russia Rescinds Request To Resupply Flotilla At Spanish Port


The eight-vessel Russian flotilla is being led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (pictured, file photo).

Russia has withdrawn its request to resupply a naval flotilla at a Spanish-controlled port in the Mediterranean.

The Spanish government made the announcement on October 26, after coming under pressure from NATO and some European Union members to reconsider its decision to all the ships to dock at the port of Ceuta.

The Russian news agency Interfax reported that the Russian Embassy in Madrid had confirmed the request withdrawal.

Russia is sending an eight-vessel flotilla, headed by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, to the eastern Mediterranean to participate in Russian military actions in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Ceuta is on the north coast of Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar from mainland Spain. It is disputed by both Spain and Morocco, but is considered part of the European Union. Russian warships have docked there at least 60 times since 2011.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on October 26 that the flotilla could play a role in "exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe we already see in Aleppo and in Syria."

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, speaking in Brussels, said his government was "extremely concerned that any NATO member should consider assisting a Russian carrier group that might end up bombing Syrian civilians."

Russia says it is combating terrorist groups in Syria and does not target civilians.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, The Guardian, and El Pais