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Saturday 20 January 2018

Russia criticises Nato over port denial for warships

The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov
The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

Russia's defence minister has hit out after Nato applied pressure on Spain to deny port access to Russian warships en route to Syria.

Sergei Shoigu said the refusal has not affected the mission of the Russian aircraft carrier group, adding that it has all the necessary supplies.

The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and its escorting vessels are now in the Mediterranean, heading to Syria's coast.

Russia had sought permission for some of the ships to call at Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta last week, but later withdrew its request as Nato allies piled pressure on Madrid over concerns that the ships could be used to ramp up air attacks in Syria.

Mr Shoigu said: "It's time for our western partners to determine whom they are fighting: terrorists or Russia."

Press Association

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