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MEPs ask EC about Russian use of Ceuta’s port during Ukrainian conflict

11 MEPs from different parties, amongst them Catalan liberal party CDC MEP Ramon Tremosa, have sent a parliamentary question to the EC’s vice president, Federica Mogherini, regarding the repeated use of the Spanish port of Ceuta by Russian military ships. According to Ceuta’s local press, this port, located in North Africa, was used by Russia’s fleet at least 57 times between 2011 and 2015 along the ships’ route towards the Black Sea. The fleet included frigates, destroyers and attack submarines. The use of this port by Russian ships coincided with the European fines against Moscow due to its participation through third parties in the civil conflict in Ukraine. Thus, MEPs have asked Mogherini to clarify whether this support from the Spanish authorities contravened ­­­­the European fines and why.

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21 March 2016 07:12 PM

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ACN

Brussels (CNA).- Russian military ships, including frigates, destroyers and attack submarines, repeatedly used the Spanish port of Ceuta during the civil conflict in Ukraine. According to Ceuta’s local press, this port, located in North Africa, was used by Russia’s fleet at least 57 times between 2011 and 2015 along the ships’ route towards the Black Sea. In order to clarify whether this support from the Spanish authorities contravened ­­­­the European fines against Moscow for its participation through third parties in the civil conflict in Ukraine and why, 11 MEPs from different parties have sent a parliamentary question to the EC’s vice president, Federica Mogherini. Catalan liberal party CDC MEP Ramon Tremosa is amongst the signers, together with MEPs from the European People’s Party (EPP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the European Conservatives and Reformists group and the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA).


Such stops at Ceuta’s port concern the MEPs, who consider it impossible that the Spanish government, the owner of this port through the Spanish Ministry for Public Works and Transport, didn’t acknowledge its use by the Russian fleet. These operations coincided with the European fines against Moscow due to its participation in the Ukrainian conflict through third parties.

The MEPs urged Mogherini to give an explanation and clarify whether the EC was aware of these operations, fundamental for maintaining Russia’s military positions in Ukraine. They have also asked the EC’s vice-president whether this support from the Spanish authorities contravened ­­­­the European fines and why.

The 11 MEPs who addressed the parliamentary question are CDC MEP Ramon Tremosa, ALDE’s vice-president, Petras Austrevicius, and other MEPs from this party, Kaja Kallas and Antanas Guoga, EPP MEPs Gabrielius Landsbergis and Artis Pabriks, N-VA MEP Mark Demesmaeker, and ECR MEPs Robert Zile, Tomasz Poreba, Kosma Zltowski and Morten Messerschmidt.

Moreover, the use of Ceuta’s port facilities by the Russian fleet also raised concerns amongst Heritage, one of the most important think tanks in the US. This group has repeatedly asked Washington to take measures against Spain’s too permissive relationship with Moscow.

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  • Platja_Ceuta

  • Image of Ceuta's beach in the border between Spain and Morocco (by Metromuster)