Two Russian ships were prevented from entering the port of Ceuta, a North African Spanish enclave. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid refused to grant permission because – according to the Spanish media – the Russians refused to provide information about the destination of the cruise.
As reported on Monday by the daily “El Faro de Ceuta”, which was negative for the Russians, the decision was made despite the prior consent of the Spanish Ministry of Defense.
The main reason for the closure of the port in Ceuta for both ships was the refusal by their command to provide their final destination.
According to information from the Spanish authorities, the stoppage of the Russian units was originally planned for August 18-20. The ships were to refuel and replenish food supplies. At the same time, it was planned that crew members would be able to visit the city.
According to the daily “El Confidencial”, the ships which the Spanish authorities refused to allow to enter Ceuta for a short stop are the submarine destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov and the Altai rescue tug. Both units are part of the Northern Fleet.
Allegations of supporting the regime
The visits of Russian warships to Ceuta were especially common in 2010-2016. During this time – as the Russian agency Interfax recalled – units of all types with a crew of over 10,000 people made about 60 entries. According to Spanish media, in 2016, under pressure from NATO countries, Madrid banned the mooring of Russian units in the enclave port, explaining that they supported the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war in Syria.
The change came when the socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez came to power, which in 2018 restored permission for Russian warships to enter the port in Ceuta.
Main photo source: mil.ru