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Archive: Irish Defence Forces observe United States, Russian and French vessels off coast

This week Óglaigh na hÉireann have monitored a number of international Warships both outside and inside Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Irish Defence Forces has released first-hand footage of warships and support vessels as they travelled close to Irish waters to carry out military exercises.

Tensions have mounted between Irish and Russian officials over Russia’s plan to conduct naval exercises on the southeast coast of Ireland.

Late last week Russia agreed to move the drills outside Ireland’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - after Irish fishermen threatened to take to sea to protest against them, and after both environmentalists and the Irish Government made clear their dissatisfaction.

The Irish Air Corps and Naval Service said that as part of its maritime, defence and security operations, it observed United States, Russian and French vessels in international waters off the Irish coast.

The Air Corps also monitored the presence of a Royal Air Force combat aircraft on the southeast and outside the Irish EEZ.

The Irish Defence Forces said the international naval vessels are transmitting on the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and are outside Irish territorial waters.

They confirmed that this activity is “in line with the UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) rules for transit through International Waters”.

According to Defence Forces officials, territorial waters are 12 nautical miles from the coast of Ireland and under UNCLOS, there is “no restriction on warships operating on the high seas inside and outside of any EEZ”.

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