Russian flotilla enters North Sea after 20-year absence

A Russian navy flotilla has entered the North Sea for the first time in 20 years. The Russian Carrier Battlegroup was sighted 2 days ago by HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën in the Bay of Biscay. The flotilla comprises 6 ships escorting the RFS Kuznetsov, an aircraft carrier.

The ships moved from the Bay of Biscay into the North Sea via the English Channel, where they were escorted by British and French navy vessels. The Russian vessels are currently sailing in the Dutch Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is outside Dutch territorial waters.

Murmansk

The Russian navy’s flotilla is being closely monitored, even though it is in all likelihood on its way to Murmansk. A Dutch Coastguard aircraft is observing the movements of the flotilla at the request of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The flotilla is expected to leave the Dutch EEZ tonight. Although the ships are permitted to move freely through this area, it is unusual to see Russian units using this route.