Mediterranean, a military passage?

We are witnessing a Russian flotilla transit through the Mediterranean Sea, which navigates to Syria, to the natural eastern coast basin , source of countless conflicts for many years and for different reasons. The fleet is commanded by Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which is put at the head of eight other warships, including the nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great, two anti-submarine warships, four support vessels and, according to NATO, some submarines.

The Russian fleet, already during the English Channel transit, has attracted particular attention from NATO member countries, which have often ordered to keep the eye contact with ships belonging to the coalition along the way, but until Russian ships sail international waters, they have the right to free movement.

This issue puts Spain in the spotlight beacause the Russian Federation has required to the Spanish authorities the approval for refuelling some ships of the fleet which were supposed to dock on the port of Ceuta, Spanish enclave in North Africa, after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. 

According to NATO, the fleet, the biggest maritime deployment since the end of the Cold War, delivers bombers and weapons which could be used to intesify the attack on Aleppo.
Spain, although an Atlantic Alliance member, has always allowed Russian ships the docking, taking charge and analyzing each case. What will have changed?

The Spanish authorities have comunicated they would examine the request for refuelling, according to the information collected by allies and those received by Russian authorities.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, has reported the possible use of the deployment put in place by Moscow, that could be designed to hit civilians besieged in the eastern districts of Aleppo.

Moreover he has added that every State should have choosen, according to the consequences which could be occur, whether to allow the dock of the ships for the refuelling or to forbid it.
There was not this issue in Spain in the end, because it would seem the Russian Embassy in Spain has withdrawn the request forwarded previously.

According to some rumors obtained by the Times of Malta, thousands of signatures would have been collected on the Internet to lead the Government to deny permission to let the Russian fleet. dock The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta, George Vella, has confirmed to the Times of Malta that the Russian flotilla will not stop in Malta. 

However, he has not confirmed nor denied the formal request made by Russian Federation to restock their ships on the Island.

Moscow seems to have given the order to tankers, probably three, coming from Russian Federation ports in the Black Sea, to refuel continuously the vessels for the entire stay of the flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea.

Where will this massive deployment of combat forces take us? How will the situation in Syria evolve?

By Michele Pavan

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  • L'Autore

    Michele Pavan


    Michele Pavan è fondatore di Mondo Internazionale e Membro del Comitato Tecnico e Scientifico del CESMA - Centro di Studi Militari Aeronautici "Giulio Douhet" con focus sulle Military Policy, in particolare con l'utilizzo di tecnologie satellitari e droni.

    Si laurea in Relazioni Internazionali – Diplomazia ed Organizzazioni Internazionali presso l’Università degli Studi di Milano, specializzandosi nella prevenzione delle crisi e analisi di politica estera, in particolare dell'Africa Sub-Sahariana e dell'area MENA - Medio Oriente e Nord Africa. Si è soffermato sullo studio sperimentale dei fattori di prevenzione, distinti in statici e dinamici, che indicano l'evoluzione di un contesto di crisi, determinandone il rischio e le diverse variabili.

    Ha studiato per sei mesi presso l'Associazione Europea di Studi Internazionali - AESI di Roma dove, successivamente, ha ricoperto il ruolo di Direttore per le Relazioni Internazionali e le Attività Nazionali. Ha organizzato e partecipato a diversi incontri in merito alla prevenzione delle crisi presso le sedi delle Nazioni Unite a New York e Ginevra, al Pentagono, al Dipartimento di Stato degli Stati Uniti d’America, alla Rappresentanza Permanente d'Italia presso le Nazioni Unite e l'Unione Europea, all'Ambasciata degli Stati Uniti d'America in Italia, all'Ambasciata d'Italia presso la Santa Sede, all'Ambasciata d'Italia presso gli Stati Uniti d'America, al Consolato italiano a St. Pietroburgo, alla Nunziatura Apostolica negli Stati Uniti, presso l'Unione Europea, al CASD, all'Istituto Diplomatico Villa Madama, alla Santa Sede, a Palazzo San Macuto, alla Commissione Europea, al Parlamento Europeo, al Comando JFC della NATO, all'Università MGIMO, alla Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, all'American University e alla George Washington University.

    I suoi studi, le sue competenze e le conoscenze linguistiche della lingua inglese, spagnola e francese gli permettono di interagire con le diverse culture nei contesti internazionali.

    In qualità di Presidente e Co-Fondatore dell’Associazione Mondo Internazionale, la quale è nata per essere un centro fisico-virtuale interculturale e multidisciplinare di opportunità e conoscenza per i giovani a livello mondiale, operando in ambito di ricerca, formazione e informazione, si occupa di rappresentare l’intera associazione e di coordinare le attività, pianificando ed interagendo con gli Enti e le Istituzioni che collaborano con l’ente.


    Michele Pavan is founder of Mondo Internazionale and Member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of CESMA - Center for Military Aeronautical Studies "Giulio Douhet" with focus on Military Policy, in particular with the use of satellite technologies and drones.

    He graduated in International Relations - Diplomacy and International Organizations at the University of Milan, specializing in crisis prevention and analysis of foreign policy, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA area - Middle East and North Africa. He focused on the experimental study of prevention factors, distinct in static and dynamic, which indicate the evolution of a crisis context, determining the risk and the different variables.

    He studied for six months at the European Association of International Studies - AESI in Rome where, subsequently, he held the role of Director for International Relations and National Activities. He has organized and participated in several meetings on crisis prevention at the United Nations headquarters in New York and Geneva, the Pentagon, the United States Department of State of America, the Permanent Representation of Italy to the United Nations and the European Union, the Embassy of the United States of America in Italy, the Embassy of Italy to the Holy See, the Embassy of Italy to the United States of America, the Italian Consulate in St. Petersburg, to the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States, to the European Union, to the CASD, to the Diplomatic Institute Villa Madama, the Holy See, Palazzo San Macuto, the European Commission, the European Parliament, NATO JFC Command, MGIMO University, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, American University and George Washington University.

    His studies, skills and linguistic knowledge of English, Spanish and French allow him to interact with different cultures in international contexts.

    As President and Co-founder of the Mondo Internazionale Association he is responsible for representing the entire association and coordinating activities, planning and interacting with the bodies and institutions collaborating with the Association. Indeed, Mondo Internazionale was born to be a physical-virtual center of intercultural and multidisciplinary opportunities and knowledge for young people worldwide, working in the field of research, training and information.


From the World Sub-Saharan Africa Europe Middle East & North Africa Sections Human Rights International Organizations Society


Malta Marina Militare Mediterraneo NATO Portaerei Russia Siria Spagna

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