Belgian Navy Shadows Kuznetsov

by Nicholas Fiorenza
Jan 25, 2017

The Belgian navy escorted Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group through Belgium's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the English Channel and North Sea Jan. 24-25, in cooperation with neighboring countries.

The Russian naval group, which includes the cruiser Piotr Veliky, two Udaloy class destroyers, the tanker Osipov and the tugboat Nikolay Chiker, was tracked by Belgium's Carrefour d’Information Maritime (Maritime Information Center) and was escorted through the EEZ by the Belgian navy's P901 Castor patrol vessel.

The naval group was on its way back from the Syrian coast to the northern Russian port of Severomorsk.

NATO officials were privately disdainful of the performance of the Kuznetsov but publicly acknowledged its right to operate in international waters.

On a less serious note, a fellow journalist started calling me "the voice" after I helped U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute pronounce the name of the Russian carrier during a press briefing last October.

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