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Coveney says Russian military exercises ‘on the western borders of the EU’ are not welcome

Arriving at today’s (24 January) Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told gathered reporters that Russia had notified Ireland that they intend to undertake military exercises about 240 km from Ireland’s south west coast. 

The exercises are taking place within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, but in international waters so Ireland has no power to prevent them from happening. Nevertheless, Coveney has made it clear to the Russian ambassador to Ireland that the increase in military activity with the build-up of troops around Ukraine is not welcome. 

“The fact that they’re choosing to do this on the western borders 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.#,” said Coveney. He will brief the EU ministers on this development.

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