Russian military drills pose strategic and environmental risks to Ireland

Concerns that the drills off Cork coast could be cover for cutting subsea cables

A Russian naval ship.  If the situation in Ukraine deteriorates significantly it  is in Russia’s interest to disperse its ships in international waters. Photograph: Getty Images

A Russian naval ship. If the situation in Ukraine deteriorates significantly it is in Russia’s interest to disperse its ships in international waters. Photograph: Getty Images

This week Russia will start deploying 140 warships and about 10,000 sailors around the world to take part in naval exercises expected to last several weeks.

These drills will take place in the Pacific, the Mediterranean and in a small area about 130 nautical miles (200km) off the coast of Cork, firmly within Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Unsurprisingly it is the latter exercises which are causing most concern in military and political circles here.

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