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The Dutch were powerless when Russian warships entered their waters

May 29, 2014

Admiral-Kuznetsov

The Netherlands’ navy didn’t have a single ship to escort a Russian flattop

(excerpt)

Russia’s only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov recently passed through the English Channel and into The Netherlands’ exclusive economic zone. But the Dutch navy had no ships available for escort duty.

Years of budget cuts have undermined the ability of European countries to perform routine military missions, such as accompanying Russian vessels as they sail close to their territorial waters.

The Royal Netherlands Navy has been among the hardest-hit of European armed forces—and now it painfully shows, as Moscow’s warships sail unchallenged near Dutch territory.

On May 8 Admiral Kuznetsov sailed through international waters in the English Channel, heading from the Mediterranean—where she had reinforced the Kremlin’s deployments around Ukraine—to her home port in northern Russia.

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