Russian bombers near Ireland
Sir, – The recent editorial in The Irish Times on flights in the North Atlantic strongly reminds us of Brer Wolf from the famous Tales of Uncle Remus: Adventures of Brer Rabbit (“The Irish Times view on the Putin playbook: Russian bombers near Ireland”, March 24th).
No matter what we say to the newspaper (in this case that the flights are carried out in strict compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation rules), it sticks to exactly the opposite script right out of the mysterious “Putin book”.
Interesting journalism, or is it really journalism? – Yours, etc,
Embassy of Russia
Sir, – Dr John Doherty (Letters, March 25th) and your other readers may rest easy. Regardless of what flavour of government is in power in Ireland, the UK ministry of defence and the RAF will neither seek nor require its approval before scrambling to intercept Russian bombers, or any other potential threat, in Irish airspace.
For all practical and strategic purposes, Irish airspace is UK airspace, as Ireland does not have, nor could conceivably ever afford, the infrastructure (the aircraft, primary radar and fast-jet pilots) to defend that airspace.
Britain, thankfully, has all these capabilities. A threat in Irish airspace is also a threat to the UK, and is treated as such.
The present situation is something of an embarrassment, diplomatically speaking, but it works, and probably the less said and written about it, the better.
In the meantime, Irish diplomats should indeed make it clear to Russia that these incursions must not continue. I wish them good luck with that particular mission. – Yours, etc,