The Spanish authorities did not give permission to Russia for two warships to stay in the port of Ceuta on the northern coast of Africa for refueling and resupply.
This is reported by Confidencial.
The large anti-submarine ship “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” and the tugboat “Altai” planned to call at the port of Ceuta on August 18 and stay there for three days.
The visit was to be the first for the Russian fleet since 2016 when Mariano Rajoy’s government vetoed these stops under pressure from NATO and the United States.
Russia sent a request for the ships’ entry back in early summer. On August 2 the Naval Command of Ceuta sent a letter to the port administration stating that “the General Staff of the Spanish Navy authorized a stop of two Russian warships in this port from August 18 to 20”.
However, the approval of the general staff is not enough. As stipulated by the 2014 Spanish law “On Navigation in Inland Sea Waters and Port Entries,” foreign warships must obtain permission from the Ministry of Defense, which is processed through diplomatic channels.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry demanded information about the route and the destination of the Russian ships, but Moscow considered the routes secret and refused to provide it. Spain, in turn, did not respond to Russia’s request and thus did not allow the ships to enter Ceuta.
Between 2011 and 2016, more than 50 Russian ships docked in Ceuta to refuel and replenish food supplies.
Earlier, the media reported that Spanish authorities were considering issuing permits to Russian ships in order to revitalize Ceuta’s economy. On the other hand, Madrid will host a NATO summit in 2022, and allowing Russian naval ships to enter the Spanish port would cause discontent among the allies.