Two Russian warships will join Nato’s anti-terrorist patrols in the Mediterranean this week.
Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said the ships from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet would be taking part in Operation Active Endeavour until early next year.
“Our ships will operate in strict conformity with international law,” Ivanov said, adding that the patrols would help counter the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their components.
Operation Active Endeavour has monitored shipping in the eastern Mediterranean and Straits of Gibraltar since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Allied officials claim the mission has successfully deterred terrorists from carrying out attacks on shipping or using Mediterranean sea routes to transport material. About two dozen Nato ships are currently taking part in the operation.
Russia signed a partnership agreement with Nato in 2002, outlining cooperation in counterterrorism, non-proliferation, peacekeeping and other fields, but has continued to voice concern about the alliance’s eastward expansion.