Skip to Content

Russian FM Lavrov and Spanish FM Borrell. Photo: Government of Spain

A knife in the back of NATO: Russian warships refuel in Spain

Three Russian warships docked to refuel in Ceuta, a Spanish port enclave in northeast Africa, after a long absence. The guided-missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov, tanker Dubna and tug SB-406 were authorised to re-fuel and re-supply by Spanish authorities.

Published: November 25, 2018, 7:01 am

    Read more

    Madrid

    In 2016, Russia had rescinded its right to dock ships in Ceuta after NATO allies complained that the Russian military had targeted “civilians” in Syria, a claim which Russia denied.

    Russian outlet Sputnik reported that Nile Gardiner, a British political pundit, called it “a knife in the back for the NATO alliance”, because of Spain’s decision to allow three Russian warships to dock, three days after the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Madrid.

    Similarly, Luke Coffey, a US political adviser, called Madrid’s move “the height of irresponsibility”, to allow Russia into the fold of Western nations, according to Sputnik.

    Official Spanish logs show that Russian warships docked in Ceuta 60 times between 2010 and 2016. They brought in over 10 000 servicemen, who generated some 4.5 million euros for the enclave’s African seaport.

    The Spanish media took little notice of the Anglo-American outbursts. Major daily El País announced the arrival of the Russian naval vessels in a neutral headline: “The Russian fleet returns to Ceuta three years after.”

    Thus Ceuta’s port authorities have welcomed the Russian fleet, since it has been “fruitful for the town’s commercial establishments”.

    Local media welcomed the Russian visit with even more enthusiasm, with El Pueblo de Ceuta suggesting that the arrival of the Russian navy would give an “important impetus” to the town’s economic sector, while local businesses were awaiting it “with open arms”.

    Digital daily, El Faro de Ceuta, reported on the reception ceremony for the Russian warships, which was preceded by “unexpected” welcoming cannon shots.

    Santiago Velo de Antelo, the head of Spanish Academy of Diplomacy, told Sputnik that the presence of the Russian Navy in Ceuta marked “the return to a normal situation that was disrupted in 2016”.

    He said Britain’s negative reaction was fueled by the fear of losing control over the Strait of Gibraltar which is “the world’s most important” strait.

    Spanish lawyer and economist Guillermo Rockafort denounced the UK’s “hypocritical” stance, noting that it had “usurped” Gibraltar, since Britain used the enclave freely in 2005 to repair a “damaged nuclear submarine”, without consulting with Spain.

    “Spain has sent a clear message to the United Kingdom, the United States and to the whole world that it is a sovereign nation that takes decisions meeting its own interests.

    “It bothers them that Madrid has adopted a neutral and even friendly position towards such an important country as Russia,” Rockafort added.

    In Spain, calls for cooperation with Russia are growing louder, Rocafort said. He cited the example of Colonel Pedro Baños, who was tipped in June by Spanish media as the new head of Spain’s intelligence office. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez however later ruled out his appointment.

    During Lavrov’s visit to Madrid, foreign ministers of both countries agreed to establish a joint cybersecurity group to keep the malicious spreading of misinformation from damaging relations between their countries, The Associated Press reported.

    Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said he welcomed the Russian proposal for a collaborative effort to counter fake news.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    The Bellingcat phenomenon: how to declare a war against free speech and be awarded for ‘advances in journalism’

    At the end of March an American journalist Brenna T. Smith published a controversial article which consisted of revealing the personal data of people who took part in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6.

    Race for the title of ‘global savior’ – US dials back its hegemony during the pandemic

    The actions of the White House to support its European allies during the pandemic raise questions both from political elites who are loyal to the United States and from those who represent anti-American positions.

    Asylum seekers in Denmark can be sent 700km away – to Rwanda

    CopenhagenPeople who immigrate to Denmark illegally and seek asylum will soon be transported 700 km away and placed in a Danish asylum centre in a Central African country.

    Oxford study finds correlation between blood clotting events and most current vaccines

    MoscowThe developers of Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine against Covid-19, have urged health regulators to look into a University of Oxford study on the correlation between the occurrence of rare blood clotting and vaccines currently injected on a mass scale globally.

    EU countries agree on a uniform vaccination passport

    BerlinAccording to media reports, the member states of the European Union have agreed on a uniform vaccination card for travel within the Union. The EU states are therefore defining their position on the so-called "Green Passport", which should be operational by the end of June.

    Japan as a model for zero immigration

    DresdenDr. Jan Moldenhauer is a member of the AfD state board in Saxony-Anhalt and district chairman of the AfD Magdeburg. In May 2018 he published a study entitled "Japan's policy of zero immigration - a role model for Germany?"

    Development aid funds rise to a record high

    ParisGlobal funds for development aid reached a new high in the past year. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced in Paris on Tuesday, that public funds from donor countries rose to more than 161 billion US dollars (around 136 billion euros).

    Vaccine-immune Corona variants conceivable say researchers

    GöttingenCorona variants, against which current vaccines are less effective or no longer effective at all, can also arise in Germany, according to researchers. This is particularly possible with the virus spreading in a third wave, according to Stefan Pöhlmann and Markus Hoffmann from the Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen.

    Study: No black goalkeepers in German Bundesliga equals discrimination and ‘racial stacking’

    According to a study, the absence of dark-skinned goalkeepers in the Bundesliga is due to racial discrimination not talent. The reason why individual clubs do not employ black goalkeepers, could be a coincidence, explained integration researcher Tina Nobis from Humboldt University in Berlin. "That there isn't a single black goalkeeper in the Bundesliga, means it's not a coincidence."

    European Court of Human Rights gives the green light for compulsory vaccinations

    StrasbourgIt is the first time that the European Court of Human Rights has dealt with the issue of compulsory vaccination. According to the ECHR, the mandatory vaccinations are in the "best interests" of society. According to experts, the judgment could play a role in the enforcement of Covid vaccinations.

    Go to archive