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NATO Believes Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov to Strike ‘Civilians’ in Aleppo

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The NATO is concerned about the fact that the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrier may be used to carry out airstrikes on the city of Aleppo.

NATO Believes Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov to Strike ‘Civilians’ in Aleppo

‘Civilians’ of Aleppo (Photo: AFP 2016 / Rami al-Sayed)

On Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that he is concerned about the fact that the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrier, heading in the direction of Syria, may be used to carry out airstrikes on the city of Aleppo.

“The concern is that the Kuznetsov carrier group can be used as a platform for increased airstrikes against civilians in Aleppo,” the NATO Secretary General said at a press conference in Brussels.

Stoltenberg also added that NATO experts are monitoring the movement of the Russian ships “in a normal way.” He stressed that it is not the first time, when the Admiral Kuznetsov would be deployed to the Mediterranean.

“What is different this time is that the battle group may be used to increase Russia’s ability to take part in combat operations over Syria and to conduct even more airstrikes against Aleppo,” he said.

According to Stoltenberg, the prospect of the use of the aircraft carrier in the military operation in Syria creates more questions and concerns over assurances of the Russian side on its readiness to work for a political solution to the conflict.

At the same time, the NATO Secretary General noted that some countries of the North Atlantic Alliance help the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean. According to him, the NATO headquarters systematically pays attention to evidences of refueling and resupply of the Russian Navy’s ships in Mediterranean ports of the NATO countries, such as Spain.

Earlier, there were reports that the Russian military ships were resupplied and refueled in Spanish ports, located in North Africa, in particular, in the port of Ceuta. According to the Publico daily newspaper, official Madrid allowed the Russian Navy to carry out refueling of Russian warships in Spanish ports in North Africa.

The NATO representative noted that the last refueling took place on October 16. The Zeleny Dol and the Serpukhov corvettes entered the port. In addition, the Russian SB-36 rescue towboat has also been spotted in the Spanish port.

According to the Huffington Post informational website, the behavior of the Spanish government can be considered as an unprecedented violation of the NATO charter.

“As Aleppo burns, Spain resupplies the Russian Navy,” the article title reads.

Spain asked to specify what exactly point of the NATO charter has been violated by the country. Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes pointed out that the NATO charter does not prohibit assisting another country’s Navy, with which the NATO is not at war. The Minister also added that according to the charter, any NATO country must inform all other countries of the alliance about a logistical support of ships of another fleet, if it receives such a request. Spain has informed all other NATO states.

Stoltenberg was not able to formulate specific claims against Madrid and just noted that Spain need to rethink its approach. If so, it turns out that the NATO Secretary General offers Spain to declare war on Russia or to disrupt the NATO charter.

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