PLANS have changed for the battle group of Russian warships that has been sailing from Russia to the Mediterranean over the last week.
Three Russian ships were granted permission in September to refuel between October 28 and November 2 at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Northern Africa.
Spain was under pressure from its NATO allies not to permit the refuelling of the ships as they may be used to support military action in Syria. When the Spanish Foreign Ministry requested clarification on the subject from the Russian Embassy in Madrid they replied by withdrawing the request to dock. The embassy confirmed the withdrawal but refrained from commenting further.
The battle group consists of Russia’s only aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov, a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, two anti-submarine warships and four support vessels with unconfirmed reports of accompanying submarines.