British, French and US forces meet off Irish coast to monitor Russian activity

Russia was originally due to conduct military drills around 240km off the southwest coast of Ireland, in an area within the State's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
British, French and US forces meet off Irish coast to monitor Russian activity

British, French, and US forces have converged to monitor the start of what is believed to be a five-day Russian navy exercise.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the Irish Naval Service also has ships monitoring the exercise, bolstered by aerial surveillance supplied by the Air Corps.

The Russians were originally due to conduct the exercise around 240km off the southwest coast, in an area within Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). However, they changed their minds last week after much furore from politicians and local fishermen.


Fishermen had been seriously concerned that missile-firing exercises would kill off more of their ever-depleting fish stocks in the region.

Some military experts believe the proposed deployment within Ireland's EEZ was a Russian ruse, and the country never intended to conduct exercises there.

It is believed Russia was trying to make a point by highlighting Ireland is the weakest link in terms of Nato and EU military defences - being neutral, with seriously underfunded Defence Forces.

The reason behind the gathering of 'western forces' is because the initial exercise was due to be directly over transatlantic submarine cables which carry intelligence information and millions of financial transactions between North America and Europe.

The Russians have moved the exercise slightly outside the Irish EEZ, but have still at least two warships sitting over the cables, with a supply ships nearby.

The Irish Defence Forces have confirmed they have observed US, Russian and French vessels in international waters off the southwest coast.

It is also believed some of these nations, as well as the British, have submarines also located in the general area to keep a close eye on the Russian exercise, especially as they are concerned the Russians may be preparing to cut the vital cables if a major conflict breaks out over Ukraine.

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