Russia to hold wargames in Greek airspace

ATHENS (Reuters) - A Russian aircraft carrier will conduct military exercises in Greek airspace later this month, the first such wargames to take place in the NATO member’s area, Greece’s Defence Ministry said on Friday.

The carrier Kuznetsov will operate southeast of the Greek island of Rhodes on Jan 3, 4, 8 and 10 and south of the island of Crete on Jan 11, it said.

“The Kuznetsov, which is sailing in the southeast Mediterranean, asked Greece’s civil aviation authority to operate within the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR),” the ministry said in a statement. “The request was granted.”

Greek defense officials said that Russian Sukhoi 25 and Sukhoi 33 fighter aircraft would take part in the operations, as well as Kamov helicopters.

It was the first time that such a request was made, officials said.

Reporting by George Hatzidakis; Editing by Jon Boyle