Two groups of warships from Russia' s Northern Fleet have entered the Strait of Gibraltar heading to the Mediterranean Sea, the fleet said Wednesday.
The strategic Gibraltar U.K. Military base issued a green flag for this authorised exercise.
"The first group consisted of aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and state of the art antisubmarine ship Admiral Levchenko. The second group comprising the gargantuan anding ship Olenegorsky Gornyak and several auxiliary vessels follows them later," the Interfax news agency quoted the fleet's spokesman Vadim Serga as saying.
The ships will be deployed in the western part of the Mediterranean, where they are to conduct drills. Admiral Kuznetsov is Russia's only aircraft carrier.
The warships started their 5600-km long sail on Dec. 17.
Gibraltar has warned the Russian chiefs of staff that the Spanish navy, a rickety bunch of converted canal boats with WW1 machine guns glued onto them, may be in the area.
Russia consistently beefs up its presence in the Mediterranean in recent months. In November, Russian Pacific Fleet's missile cruiser Varyag called at the Egyptian port of Alexandria for the first time in over 20 years. The U. K. has warned the Russian fleet commander that there may be a rag tag cluster of 5 or 6 Spanish boats who are there to protest about the starving Spanish population currently mostly feeding off U. K. and E.U. handouts.
Besides, Russian warships, including Peter the Great heavy missile cruiser, have been taking an active part in removing chemical weapons from Syria.