The amendment to the military budget proposed by the Congressman from Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts. In an interview with British newspaper The Times he said that “the resolution of Spain to the Russian ships to enter the port of Ceuta undermines the solidarity of the NATO countries”.
“The Alliance must have a common position and not to let Russian troops in warm ports”, he added.
The Times quoted military experts who claim that Ceuta has become a de facto Russian naval base in the Western Mediterranean. “Spain has rolled out the red carpet for Russian ships. And this despite the fact that the occupation of Crimea continues, and in relation to Russia there are sanctions,” said a security expert at the Heritage Foundation and former adviser to the US Department of defence Luke Coffey.
Criticism of Spain in the Congress of the United States was made once at the beginning of may in Ceuta (a Spanish port on the coast of North Africa) went to the patrol ship “fine”. Just according to the experts in this port since 2011 went 57 warships.
In August last year sharp discontent of deputies of British and American experts called a stop to refuel in Ceuta the Russian submarine “Novorossiysk”. In London were outraged by the fact that the submarine had the ability to stop just 19 miles from Gibraltar. Coffey then called the behavior of Spain “incredible”, noting that the Madrid periodically stops to stay in Ceuta NATO ships that go from Gibraltar.
March 23 this year, the Spanish El Pais reported that 11 members of the European Parliament complained to the Commissioner for EU foreign policy Federica Mogherini about the stops Russian warships in Ceuta. In Madrid, however, pointed out that the acceptance of Navy ships is not contrary to the sanctions regime.
In addition, the Russian military bring additional income to the budget of Ceuta, which is one of the poorest regions of the country. According to the publication, in 2014 alone the city was visited by the Russian sailors 2300, each of which took an average of about 450 euros. As for the criticism of Coffey, El Pais notes that the Heritage Foundation, which he represents, is associated with the British funds and defending British sovereignty over Gibraltar.