Russia’s navy is gearing up to pass through the straits of Gibraltar.
The four warships – including the nuclear-powered Russian heavy cruiser Peter the Great – will stop off in Libya before heading to Venezuela.
The naval deployment is Moscow’s first to the Western hemisphere since the end of the Cold War and the latest show of strength by the Kremlin.
Head of Staff of the naval group, Vladimir Yakushev said: ‘‘The number of ships passing through Gibraltar reaches 120 per day. This fact, the intensity of traffic, presents the main difficulty for us.’‘
Moscow is sending the warships to the Caribbean for joint military manoeuvres with Venezuela’s navy.
The deployment is likely to alarm the US as Moscow continues to forge links with some of Washington’s fiercest critics.