Russian Navy to hold exercises 240 kilometres off the southwest coast of Ireland
Russia is planning to hold naval exercises 240 kilometres off the southwest coast of Ireland which is in international waters but yet within the Irish EEZ.
The news of the exercises has not been welcomed by the Irish Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The location of the naval exercises will be held within the Porcupine Sea Bight, which is in Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, but it is also an important and sensitive area as it is the location of a number of transatlantic subsea cables coming from Ireland and the UK.
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney told reporters to in Brussels this morning, “We don’t have power to prevent this happening. But certainly, I’ve made it clear to the Russian ambassador in Ireland that it’s not welcome.
“This isn’t the time to increase military activity and tension in the context of what’s happening with Ukraine at the moment, and so I think it’s important that I brief my colleagues on those intentions.
“Russia, under the International Law of the Sea, can of course undertake military exercises in international waters, but the fact that they’re choosing to do it on the western borders, if you like, of the EU off the Irish coast, is something that in our view is simply not welcome and not wanted right now, particularly in the coming weeks.”
Russian website Avia.pro says that the decision to carry out naval exercises is in response to UK threats over the Ukraine.
The website reports, “In response to the provocative actions of London and the open threats issued against Russia, it was decided to hold the largest military exercises right off the coast of Great Britain and Ireland. Judging by the area of military exercises, it is located about 500 kilometres from the coast of Great Britain and about 300 kilometres from the coast of Ireland. This is not just about the deployment of Russian warships, but also about the use of long-range anti-submarine aircraft and missile firing. However, it is not this fact that poses a much greater danger, but the fact that the area where large-scale military exercises of the Russian Navy are conducted is located in the area where submarine optical cables, which are considered almost strategic objects, lie.”