After a Russian naval flotilla arrived in Alexandria on Saturday, the active phase of the joint naval drills between Russia and Egypt is set to start “in the coming days” according to state-owned Russian news agency TASS.
The operation, dubbed ‘Friendship bridge – 2015’, is set to “become an important step towards the strengthening of the mutual understanding” between the two navies, according to a telegram by Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov.
According to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence, the exercises aim towards a “transfer and exchange of training experiences between the participating forces”. The Egyptian navy has operations ongoing near the coast of Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition’s naval blockade.
Egyptian-Russian relationships have seen major developments since Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took over as president, with mutual presidential and ministerial-level visits. In March, the two countries signed a protocol on military cooperation and announced the naval exercises.
The drills formally began on 6 June and are set to last until 14 June.