Russia will hold two naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean beginning next week, according to Turkey’s navy, a move that could fuel escalating tensions in the energy-rich region.
The Russian navy will hold firing exercises between Sept. 8-22 and Sept. 17-25, a Turkish navy website said late Wednesday. It urged Russia not to interfere with seismic work by Turkish survey ships south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo and off Cyprus’s Karpas peninsula.
Turkey is at loggerheads with the U.S. and other NATO allies over its purchase of the S-400 missile-defense system from Moscow. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Russia was intending to send a message of support for Turkey with the planned exercises in the Mediterranean.