Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it would hold naval drills in the Caspian Sea.

The activity is scheduled for early September. It would include small missile and artillery ships from Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, reported Reuters.

While the conflict in the Caucasus does not directly threaten Israel, its long-standing close ties with Azerbaijan and fledgling relations with Armenia—coupled with the larger geopolitical landscape of the region involving heavyweights Turkey, Russia and Iran—put the Jewish state on high alert for developments.

Brenda Shaffer, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, told JNS last autumn: “Azerbaijan, despite bordering Iran, was not afraid to openly cooperate with Israel over the years. This showed other Muslim majority states that they can, without worrying about repercussions from Iran or other states, establish open cooperation with Israel.”

JNS

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