A Russian submarine is to, for the first time, participate in naval exercise with Nato warships, according to the alliance.

The warship is expected to take part in next month’s undersea rescue exercise off the Spanish coast, the Associated Press reports Nato officials as saying.

The world’s largest exercise is held every three years and includes multiple submarines, warships, and search and rescue aircraft.

Russian submarines have never participated along with the alliance vessels though Nato’s and Russia’s surface ships collaborate with each other closely under the international anti-piracy patrols off the Somali coast.

Since 2009, military ties between Russia and Nato have been progressing steadily despite long-lasting political differences over Georgia and the alliance’s on-going air strikes against Libya.