Russian carrier group makes waves in UK during transit to Mediterranean

by WorldTribune Staff, October 20, 2016

The UK is keeping close watch on a Russian aircraft carrier group that is transiting near Britain’s eastern coast en route to the Mediterranean.

“When these ships near our waters we will man-mark them every step of the way,” UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 20. “We will be watching as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe.”

Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier
Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

Russia said last week that a naval group from its Northern Fleet, based at Severomorsk near the Finnish border, had departed for the northeast Atlantic en route to the Mediterranean “to ensure naval presence in the important areas” of the seas, according to the TASS news agency.

The ships include the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier.

Russia said last month that its permanent naval group already stationed in the Mediterranean numbers about 10 warships and support vessels.

Igor Konashenkov, a Defense Ministry spokesman in Moscow, declined to comment on the additional deployment.

“We must show a robust and united European stance in the face of Russian aggression,” UK Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters as she arrived in Brussels for her first, and last, EU summit.

While Britain is leaving the EU, until it does “it’s vital that we work together to continue to put pressure on Russia to stop its appalling atrocities, its sickening atrocities in Syria,” she said.