Russia Will Hold Drills In Mediterranean: Turkey

  • Turkey has announced that Russia will hold live-fire naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, amid escalating tensions between Turkey and its coastal neighbors Greece and Cyprus over rights to search for energy resources in the region.
  • The navigational notice issued said the Russian exercises will take place during September 8-22 and September 17-25 periods in areas of the Mediterranean, where Turkish seismic research vessels are operating.
  • There was no immediate comment from Russia on the exercises, which Turkey announced after the U.S. said it was partially lifting a 33-year-old arms embargo against ethnically divided Cyprus.
  • It’s unclear why NATO-member Turkey would announce such drills on Moscow’s behalf, but the two countries have in recent years significantly strengthened their military, political and economic ties.
  • They are coordinating closely on their military presence in Syria, while Turkey has purchased Russia’s advanced S-400 missiles and has broken ground on a Russian-built nuclear power plant on its southern coast.