03:05 GMT +319 August 2019
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    In this file photo from 2004, the Russian Navy's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier is seen in the Barents Sea, Russia

    NATO Acting Like an 'Organized Crime Group' Over Russian Carrier Group Moves

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    Russia has withdrawn a request to refuel its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier at the Spanish port of Ceuta. Political analyst Georgiy Fedorov told Sputnik Radio that NATO abuses influence in relations with its country members.

    Russia has drawn back a request to Spain on the entry of its naval carrier group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov to the Spanish port of Ceuta for refuelling, the Russian Embassy in Madrid confirmed.

    The embassy said that the naval group will not enter the port due to changes in the route.

    Currently, the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier, and its naval group are heading to the Mediterranean to hold drills and strengthen capabilities, according to the Russian Northern Fleet.

    According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the Russian naval groups passed by Ceuta and continued its cruise.

    On Wednesday, it was reported that the Spanish Foreign Ministry could ban the Russian ships from entering the port of Ceuta, a Spanish autonomous city on the African north coast.

    The statement came following words by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who expressed concerns that the naval group could be involved in the Russian military campaign in Syria, including increasing the number of airstrikes in Aleppo.

    In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Georgiy Fedorov, head of the Aspekt social and political think-tank, underscored that Ceuta is an autonomous city and, thus, its territory is out of NATO’s jurisdiction.

    "NATO is acting like a big organized crime group that controls large territories and exercises military and political power and influence. There should be no illusion that an autonomous port city can escape this influence," he said.

    According to him, the alliance made a deliberate attempt to create problems for the Russian naval group.

    "But I’m sure that we’ll soon know where the ships will be able to refuel," Fedorov added.

    The mission of the Russian naval group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov began on October 15. In addition to the aircraft carrier, the group comprised the Pyotr Veliky battle cruiser, the Severomorsk and the Admiral Kulakov anti-submarine destroyers, and support vessels.

    Related:

    NATO Considers Russian Warships Sailing in Mediterranean 'Acceptable'
    Russian MoD Denies Reports of Aircraft Carrier's Call to Refuel in Spain
    Russia Withdraws Request to Spain for Entry of Warships to Ceuta for Refueling
    Spain Could Refuse Permission for Russian Ships en Route to Med to Enter Ceuta
    Tags:
    aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, Russian Northern Fleet, NATO, Russia, Spain
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