Russia withdraws request for refueling warship-Spain

CORRECTS NAME - NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, addresses the media at the start of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council Defence Ministers session at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. NATO defence ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss tense relations with Russia, how to help Middle East nations combat extremism and cooperation between the military alliance and the European Union. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Russia has withdrawn a request for a carrier battle group to refuel in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said, after NATO allies criticized Madrid for assisting warships they believe could be used to target civilians in Syria.

The Russian Embassy in Madrid has just informed us that it is withdrawing the request for permission for stopovers for these ships and these stopovers have therefore been canceled,” the ministry said.

Reuters/Hauwa M.