- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Irish officials are protesting Russia’s decision to stage naval exercises in early February in an area off their coast that Ireland claims as its Exclusive Economic Zone.

An announcement of the live-fire naval maneuvers about 150 miles off Ireland‘s southwest coast comes as tensions mount between the West and Moscow over concerns that Russia plans to invade neighboring Ukraine.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs has raised a number of concerns with the Russian authorities in respect of these [naval] exercises. We will continue these discussions in the coming days,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Monday in a statement.

Civilian air traffic will be diverted from the area during the exercises, Irish officials said.

There’s little more that Dublin can do beyond protesting the Russian naval maneuvers. Under international law, a country is allowed to stage exercises within another state’s exclusive economic zone.

Mr. Coveney said he will bring up the naval drills during meetings with fellow European Union foreign ministers over the Ukraine issue where he will “reiterate our full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will call again on Russia to de-escalate tensions and engage constructively in dialogue.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the day Ireland‘s Department of Foreign Affairs released its statement, due to an editing error.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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