Vladimir Putin has instructed his Russian navy in the Mediterranean to cooperate with the French ‘as allies’.
This comes after the French have launched attacks on Islamic State strongholds in Syria as retribution for a deadly string of coordinated attacks in Paris last Friday night, which killed more than 130 people.
“It’s necessary to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies,” Putin told the military top brass at a meeting after French President Francois Hollande said the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean.
Moscow’s Kremlin have released a statement confirming that Putin and Hollande have agreed to “coordinate” military and security services on Syria.
More to follow shortly.