Claims by the Defence Minister Simon Coveney that the presence of two Russian warplanes 50 miles off the Irish coast was “totally unacceptable” have been called “comical and downright hypocritical” by Galway Alliance Against War.
The GAAW said the minister’s stance was ironic given that the Government has no problem with the “50,000 US warplanes that have passed through Irish airspace en route to bloody wars since 2001”.
The peace group said the real question is why Russian bombers should be flying close to Irish airspace. According to a spokesperson for GAAW, it is because “Russia feels threatened by the actions of NATO and the EU”.
“NATO warplanes regularly carry out provocative flights along Russia’s borders,” the spokesperson said. “NATO has also broken diplomatic commitments made at the beginning of the 1990s not to expand into Eastern Europe. It has widened its membership to include countries along the Russian frontier and has been building missile bases with the aim of encircling Russia.”
GAAW has called on the Government to “emulate the stand taken by the new Greek Government” and oppose EU sanctions against Russia. “The last thing the world needs is a full-blown war in Europe,” the spokesperson said, “but that is becoming more and more likely.”