SPAIN lodged a formal complaint on Wednesday after it emerged a US naval nuclear submarine would be stopping off in Gibraltar rather than at the nearby port of Rota in Spain.
“The Spanish government has protested to the United States against the arrival of the nuclear submarine USS Georgia in the port of Gibraltar,” according to the Diplomat in Spain website which cited an unnamed ‘diplomatic source’.
The USS Georgia, a nuclear submarine carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of over two thousand kilometres is on its way to the eastern Mediterranean and was due to arrive in Gibraltar on Wednesday, April 13.
Spain’s Foreign Office later confirmed that a protest had been made over the decision to use stopover services in Gibraltar rather than at Rota naval base, which is only 141 km away.
Facilities in Rota were chosen at the last stop off when USS Georgia was passing through the Strait of Gibraltar in August 2020.
Spanish authorities said they had special protocols in place in Rota especially for nuclear submarines in order to minimise environmental impact and ensure public safety.
Ecologitisas en Accion has raised the alarm about nuclear subs stopping off the coast of Spain.
“We consider that these “floating bombs” can have terrible consequences for the fauna or Spanish coasts, but, more importantly, they pose a danger to everyone,” said Antonio Muñoz of Ecologistas en Acción.
Verdemar Ecologistas, an NGO umbrella organisation made up of more than 300 environmental groups across the Campo de Gibraltar has repeatedly denounced the use of Gibraltar as a repair shop for nuclear subs,
“We denounce that Gibraltar’s naval base is becoming port ‘X’, where the United Kingdom takes these ‘floating bombs’ for repairs,” the group has said in the past.
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