Don’t be fooled: last week Spain may have signed an EU statement accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Syria.
But this week a Russian flotilla is due to refuel at the Spanish port. And it seems that only protests from other EU politicians and the head of NATO have forced Spain to reconsider.
The warships are assumed to be on their way to Syria, where Russia has been accused of carrying out airstrikes on civilians.
The warships are due to dock at Ceuta, on the northern tip of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco, which also lays claim to the territory.
But it is Spain that issues the docking permits, and since 2011 at least 60 Russian warships have docked in Ceuta.
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said: „We are concerned and have expressed very clearly by the potential use of that battle group to increase airstrikes on civilians in Aleppo.”
While the Spanish foreign ministry says each permit is authorised on a case-by-case basis, considering the kind of ship, and impacts on the environment and local population, they did not say whether they take into account what that ship is on its way to do.
And herein lies the hypocrisy. It is far too easy for countries to sign one bit of paper and then allow actions on their territory that lead to the opposite. All while stoking their economies and and looking like they still believe in world peace.