Russia is planning to relocate naval exercises off of Ireland’s southern coast because local Irish fishermen said they’d protest the drills.

The news: Russia planned to run naval exercises on the coast beginning on Feb. 3.

  • But, the Irishmen said they would hold protests against the exercise, according to The Washington Post. They said they would also launch a diplomatic campaign for them to move the drills, too.
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What they’re saying: Yuri Filatov, the Russian ambassador to Ireland, said in a statement that Russia would move the military exercise “as a gesture of goodwill.”

  • He said Russia would move away from the fishing area “with the aim not to hinder fishing activities by the Irish vessels in the traditional fishing areas.”
  • “This is all we wanted. Now we can give out the information to our boats: ‘Listen lads, out you go, fish away, no worries,’” Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producer’s Organization, told CNN.
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Why it matters: Russia’s planned military exercises come as the country stands on the border of Ukraine, causing worry across the world that Russia will invade its neighbor.

  • “This isn’t a time to increase military activity and tension in the context of what’s happening in Ukraine at the moment,” said Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney, according to the Kyiv Post.
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