Russian Navy Enters English Channel On Way To Exercises

Russian Kirov Class Battle Cruiser. Source.

Warships from Russia’s Northern Fleet have entered the English Channel ahead of planned anti-aircraft and anti-submarine drills.

The vessels are due to carry out the military exercises in the north Atlantic, according to the Interfax news agency.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the Royal Navy’s HMS Argyll is monitoring the three Russian ships as they travel through the Channel.

While it is not unusual for Russian warships to travel through the Channel, the incident comes at a time of heightened tensions over Russia’s military activities.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered major military manoeuvres involving 40,000 servicemen to be carried out in the Arctic…

  • David

    Putin apologists please expound.

    • Why not let Putin expound?

    • Alain

      I am a realist and not a “Putin apologist”. What else do we expect when we have been sabre rattling right on Russia’s own borders in spite of the agreement that we would not do so following the fall of the Soviet Union. We have absolutely business being involved in provoking Russia when we cannot even deal effectively with the Islamic threat. Actually that is more than a threat since we already have had more than one actual security threat from them on Canadian soil. At the same time we import even more of the same and think we have time to get involved in another internal European affair. I think not.

      • David


        Russia Lifts Its Ban on Delivery of S-300 Surface-to-Air Missile System to Iran

        U.S., Israel criticize Kremlin’s decision to remove ban imposed in 2010
        PAUL SONNE in Moscow and

        JAY SOLOMON in WashingtonUpdated April 13, 2015 8:04 p.m. ET

        The Kremlin lifted its self-imposed ban on the delivery of a powerful missile air-defense system to Iran on Monday, stoking sharp criticism from the White House and Israel and casting fresh doubt on the international effort to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

        U.S. lawmakers seized on Moscow’s announcement Monday to warn Russia was among a host of foreign countries using the prospect of a nuclear deal to begin seeking out lucrative business deals that could bolster Iran’s military and economy.

        Any delivery of an air-defense system would complicate airstrikes on Iranian nuclear facilities by Israel or the U.S. should the diplomatic track fail.

        Iran thinks that Russia will deliver the missile system this year, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told the Interfax news agency in Moscow on Tuesday.

        The U.S. Senate is set to vote this week on legislation that would provide Congress with the power to approve, amend or kill any agreement that seeks to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions.

        Supporters of the bill, Republican and Democrat, said Russia’s lifting of its ban on the S-300 surface-to-air missile system could be just the beginning of countries testing the sanctions regime and a United Nations arms embargo on Iran.

        “Before a final nuclear deal is even reached, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin has started to demolish international sanctions and ignore the U.N. arms embargo,” said Sen.Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), who sponsored legislation that seeks to impose new sanctions on Iran if a final deal isn’t reached by June 30.

        Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the defensive systems didn’t come under the U.N. arms embargo, and that Russia implemented the S-300 ban voluntarily. “This was done in the spirit of good will to stimulate progress in the negotiations,” he said, adding that it was no longer necessary.


        Capital Journal: Three Questions for Gauging the Iran Deal

        Iranian Official Expects Missile System to be Delivered This Year

        Lifting of Iran Sanctions Wouldn’t Quickly Alter Oil Prices

        The State Department also said that the embargo imposed on Iran in 2010 didn’t prevent the delivery of S-300s. But the White House warned that the missile system, while defensive, could enhance Iran’s ability to challenge key U.S. allies in the Middle East, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

        It said that Secretary of State John Kerryraised the issue with Mr. Lavrov on Monday.

        Still, the Obama administration was measured in its criticism, noting that it didn’t believe the proposed missile sale would jeopardize the nuclear negotiations.

        The White House has been aggressively lobbying Capitol Hill not to pass new sanctions or the proposed oversight bill while negotiations are ongoing.

        U.S. officials have warned such legislation could give Iran a pretext to walk away from the talks and ramp up its nuclear activities.

        “We think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon, that this isn’t the time to be selling these kind of systems to them,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. But she added: “We don’t think this will have an impact on unity in terms of inside the negotiating room.”

        Russia signed a contract with Iran worth roughly $800 million in 2007 to deliver an S-300 defense installation—a mobile, long-range system that can detect and destroy ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft.

        But the U.S. and Israel pushed the Kremlin to drop the deal, expressing concern that Tehran could use the system to protect its nuclear facilities from attack.

        Russia relented and in 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree prohibiting the delivery. The order brought Russia in line with U.N. Security Council sanctions passed that year, which established a broader arms embargo on Iran but did not ban the delivery of ground-to-air missiles.

        The move also helped pressure Iran to re-engage in negotiations, which resulted in a historic framework deal early this month.

        Despite tensions elsewhere, the U.S. and Russia have continued to cooperate on the nuclear talks. White House press secretary Josh Earnest pointed to Russia’s recent endorsement of the administration’s fact sheet explaining the terms of the framework deal, which Iranian leaders have publicly challenged.

        “That underscores the kind of unity around the specific agreement that we believe has been critical to our success,” Mr. Earnest said.

        President Barack Obama warned over the weekend of “the possibility of backsliding” before the June 30 deadline.

        On Monday, Mr. Putin removed the ban on delivering a defensive missile system, though Russia hasn’t announced the completion of any new contract.


        “At this stage, we believe the need for this kind of embargo, and a separate voluntary Russian embargo, has completely disappeared,” Mr. Lavrov said Monday, citing the recent progress in nuclear talks. He called the missile system “exclusively of a defensive nature” and said it “doesn’t threaten the security of any governments in the region, including, of course, Israel.”

        But Israel disagreed, casting the Kremlin’s move as illustrating the legitimacy Iran is gaining from a nuclear deal, which Israeli leaders have called ill-advised.

        “It’s proof that the economic momentum that will come for Iran after lifting sanctions will be exploited for an arms buildup and not for the welfare of the people of Iran,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said.

        The Kremlin’s reversal comes a little over two months before the six world powers—the U.S., China, Germany, France, the U.K. and Russia—are to hammer out the final details of a deal with Iran.

        Ms. Harf said the U.S. sees the S-300 as separate from the nuclear issue, adding that the U.S. and Russia have been in “lockstep” in negotiations even while disagreeing on other issues.

        Iran’s defense minister praised the lifting of the ban as an example of the potential of improved relations with Russia. “Extra-regional threats and the spread of terrorism by (insurgent) groups have increased the need to further expand cooperation,” Brig. Gen.Hossein Dehqan said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

        Reza Talaei-Nik, Brig. Gen. Dehqan’s deputy, told the Tasnim News Agency that the move would be “a step forward” for Iranian-Russian relations, although he said Iran had reached a point where it could stand on its own feet in missile defense.

        Moscow’s decision comes nearly two months after the head of Russian state defense conglomerate Rostec Corp. told reporters that the firm had made an offer to sell Iran an air-defense system in the S-300 family.

        Chief Executive Officer Sergei Chemezov said in February that Iran was still considering Russia’s offer to supply Antey-2500 missile systems, with a range of about 200 kilometers (125 miles), according to Russian state news agency TASS. Rostec didn’t immediately respond to questions about the status of the offer on Monday.

        Mr. Chemezov, who became friends with Mr. Putin when the two worked for the KGB in the 1980s, is among those sanctioned by the U.S. over the crisis in Ukraine.

        In remarks to a committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament on Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested the question of how and when the arms embargo against Iran would be lifted remained outstanding.

        “First among the outstanding questions are the prospects and conditions for the cancellation of the existing arms embargo against Iran,” Mr. Ryabkov said, according to Russian news agencies. “The Russian Federation is demanding its foremost cancellation as a first step after concluding all the deals.”

        There were other signs that Russia had begun to deepen its relationship with Iran ahead of the possible lifting of sanctions. In his appearance Monday, Mr. Ryabkov suggested Russia had already begun supplying Russian products in exchange for Iranian crude in a barter deal he said did not violate the existing U.N. sanctions. He did not give additional details of the arrangement.

        Mr. Ryabkov also said Russia would stand ready to cooperate in the oil-and-gas sector after sanctions are lifted. “It takes two to tango,” he said. “We are ready to provide our services and I am sure they will be sufficiently advantageous compared to those of other countries.”

        After Moscow refused to complete Iran’s S-300 order in 2010, Iran filed a $4 billion lawsuit against the company at the International Arbitration Court in Geneva.

        Monday’s move by the Kremlin effectively resolves the pending dispute. It also gives Russia’s defense sector a potential leg up in the race to tap any post-sanctions Iranian market. In January, Sergei Shoigu made what he described as the first visit to Iran by a Russian defense minister in 15 years, and Monday’s decision continues the process of repairing ties between the Russian arms sector and Iran, a longtime customer.

        U.S. officials have said new U.N. resolutions would be established that would continue to ban the sale of certain military items to Tehran after any arms embargo is lifted. They didn’t say whether this would include S-300s. U.S. officials have indicated the new resolutions would still seek to block items that could be used in Iran’s ballistic-missile program.

        • Alain

          I am aware of this and have already commented in that it is a toss up to decide who is worse in dealing with Iran, Russia or the Pentagon. Both are guilty of aiding and abetting evil in this case. I am not sure why it is that anyone who dares to make any positive comment about Russia (and Putin is NOT Russia) when warranted thinks the same person blindly defends Russia no matter what. The fact that I also find the Obama administration evil does not make me anti-American.

  • Millie_Woods

    That thing looks like torpedo bait.

    • David

      With nukes.

      • Raymond Hietapakka

        …go ahead…torpedo it…watch out for the secondary explosions, tho’…

    • It’s chick bait.

      • Frau Katze

        Yeah right.

    • Minicapt

      One torpedo per 6000T displacement.
      “Peter the Great” displaces almost 30,000T.
      USS Virginia has four torpedo tubes.


      • Raymond Hietapakka

        Goodbye to all those Virgins in the secondary explosions…thank you Obammy…

    • Raymond Hietapakka

      …y’all think it’s so f***ing easy to roll over another country? …didn’t see much glorious in VietNam or Alfghanistain, didjya? The USA can only roll over total weaklings…the only way you can really take out a country is by extermination, a genocide. Muzzle’ems know that. That’s why it’s #1 in their playbook…

      • Millie_Woods

        It still looks like torpedo bait.

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    …Finland will get a chuckle out of that…