Russia cooled down before another potential provocation in Western Europe on Saturday, backing plans to conduct naval exercises next week in international waters off the coast of Ireland, which has already drew opposition from Irish fishing groups and the Irish government.
The naval exercises are set to take place 150 miles off the southwest coast of Ireland – outside the country’s territorial waters but within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, an area where the state has sovereignty over marine resources.
Fishing groups raised concerns that the practice could disrupt marine life and jeopardize an area vital to their trade. An organization has plan a peaceful protest Homeworks.
Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, describes the exercises proposed in an interview last week with Irish public broadcaster RTE like “simply unwelcome and unwelcome right now.”
While acknowledging that Russia’s plans do not violate international law of the sea, Mr said in a statement that his department raised a number of concerns with Russian authorities “in light of the current political and security environment in Europe.”
Moscow then decided to move the exercises outside of Ireland’s exclusive economic zone “as a gesture of goodwill,” said Russia’s Ambassador to Ireland, Yuriy Filatov, said in a statement released on Saturday. Mr. Coveney say on Twitter that he welcomed Russia’s response.
The US military has noted signs that Russia and those close to them are sowing discord and confusion far from Ukraine to distract the US and its European partners.
Last week, Russian surveillance planes flew near Al Tanf, a military outpost in Syria near the Jordanian border, where about 200 US troops are training members of Syria’s allied militia. Two Russian warships are in the Red Sea waiting to enter the eastern Mediterranean, where a US aircraft carrier is conducting a naval exercise.
In West Africa’s Sahel region, supporters of the military coup in Burkina Faso this week took to the streets waving Russian flags, expressing their desire to pivot away from France, the former colonial power, and toward Moscow.
French officials suggest that the Russian embassy may have paid supporters to wave the flag, as the Russians did in Mali, a country north of Burkina Faso, which recently signed an agreement to bring Several hundred Russian mercenaries arrive to help fight a growing Muslim insurgency there. . France and several other European countries operating in Mali have vehemently opposed plans to recruit mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a company with links to the Kremlin.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/world/europe/irish-fishermen-russia.html Russia cancels naval drills, disappointing Irish fishermen