Articles and interviews
"Defending Irish airspace", - letter to the Editor of "The Irish Times" by the Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yuriy Filatov, published on June 23, 2021
The basic premise of the article “Gaping gap’ in Ireland’s airspace defence” (“The Irish Times”, June 19, 2021) is misleading, as it was over the recent months, during which “The Irish Times” has been trying with enviable persistence to push the idea of Russian Air Force being a threat to Ireland and international aircraft traffic in the North Atlantic. I have commented on the issue on a number of occasions and will do that once again. Russian military aircraft have been carrying out routine training missions in the region of North Atlantic for many decades (so do military aircraft of other countries). The flights take place in the international airspace. The aircraft at no point enter the sovereign airspace of Ireland, nor there are any plans to do it. The issue of air travel safety has always been the top priority for Russia both in civilian and military aviation. The missions we have mentioned are no exception. They are carried out in strict accordance to all ICAO rules and regulations. There is no reason, nor any intent on the part of Russia to “provoke Ireland”. Both countries enjoy positive and respectful relationship, which is advancing steadily in many areas. We do appreciate important voice of Ireland in world affairs as well as its prominent place in the global economy, we see clear potential for the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
This time the issue of Russian “air threat” is played up in the context of discussions in Ireland on the future of its Defence Forces – an important and serious issue for any country. One thing we object to is the attempt to create Russian ‘connection” – Russia does not and should not have anything to do with the Irish defence planning. One might conclude from the article that there is different view in the UK political and military establishment, which is not content with ruining its relations with Russia and wants Ireland to follow suit paying in the process at least part of the bill for the British anti-Russian paranoia.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Russian Federation to Ireland
The link to the letter to the Editor
The link to the article “Gaping gap’ in Ireland’s airspace defence” (“The Irish Times”, June 19, 2021)