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Russia, Egypt Hold Joint Naval Exercises

Russia and Egypt are holding their first ever joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Russian Defense Ministry says the active phase of the drills, called The Bridge of Friendship-2015, started on June 10 off the Egyptian port of Alexandria.

Several Russian naval vessels, including a missile cruiser and a corvette, are participating in the drills set to run until June 14.

Egypt is contributing two frigates and other vessels

"With support from aviation, the Russian and Egyptian naval ships will perform tasks with the aim of protecting sea lanes from various threats," the Defense Ministry said ahead the drills.

Moscow has been cultivating ties with Egypt, a Soviet ally, for much of the Cold War and traditional export market for Russian arms.

Russia conducted similar naval drills with China in the Mediterranean Sea in May.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS