Russia and the fight against piracy

In addition to increasing its presence in Africa, Spain will send planes for the first time to Romania within the NATO air surveillance mission. The fighter-bombers will fly over the Black Sea, one of the hottest areas in the tense relationship between NATO and Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

A detachment consisting of six Eurofighters and 130 personnel will be deployed during February and March. In parallel, the Baltic Air Police mission remains active, defending the borders of the Atlantic Alliance in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The idea is that the Spanish military operate four months throughout the year.

Also in the Baltic area, specifically in Latvia, some 350 members of the Army remain within another NATO mission to monitor the land border. In the case of the Navy, it will continue to be present in the EU’s Atalanta operation that fights against piracy in the Indian. The mission is 12 years old and there are currently about 300 soldiers deployed.

In 2021, it is expected to start new monitoring tasks for other criminal activities, such as arms, coal and drugs trafficking. Likewise, it is planned to extend its radius of action to the Gulf of Oman and south of the Red Sea. The pending task remains the establishment of a legal framework to turn Atalanta into a more executive operation. For example, when criminals related to piracy are arrested.

In the case of the Navy, it will continue to be present in the EU’s Atalanta operation that fights against piracy in the Indico. The mission is 12 years old and there are currently about 300 soldiers deployed. In 2021, it is expected to start new monitoring tasks for other criminal activities, such as arms, coal and drugs trafficking. Likewise, it is planned to extend its radius of action to the Gulf of Oman and south of the Red Sea. The pending task remains the establishment of a legal framework to make Atalanta a more executive operation, for example when criminals related to piracy are arrested.

The experience of this operation has been brought to the Gulf of Guinea. Spain acts autonomously to prevent piracy against fishing and energy transport vessels, and carries out diplomatic actions by visiting African ports. At the moment, the maritime action ship Tornado, with 65 members, is in the area in collaboration with the Senegalese Navy. The idea is that this operation is maintained in 2021, since it is giving positive results for national interests.

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