There is a 'cause for concern' as Russian ships creep closer to the United Kingdom after several, including a warship, were spotted off Ireland's coast.
To add to the panic, Irish officials were suspicious of sabotage attempts on undersea internet cables just a month after at least three Russian vessels were spotted near the Irish coastline around Kerry and Galway.
This time around, Irish Defence Forces and Britain's Royal Navy spotted at least four Russian vessels, including a warship and other Russian-registered merchant ships.
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Russian vessels are barred from EU waters, but these were observed in Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which spans 200 miles off of the nation's coastline.
The Irish Navy captured photos of another ship, a tanker named the Kama, which was seen reportedly refuelling Admiral Grigorovich, the Russian frigate ship.
Admiral Grigorovich class frigates are a class of warships built for the Russian Navy. They are designed for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare operations, and are equipped with a variety of weapons and sensors to perform these tasks, Navy Recognition reported.
"That is why we increased Royal Navy presence patrols after the Nord Stream incident and have invested £65 million in the first of our two Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance ships," a UK Ministry of Defence official said in a statement.
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Defence and security analyst Declan Power wrote in The Sunday Times: "The fact that Russian vessels have again entered Ireland's exclusive economic zone represents an escalation in President Putin's attempts to intimidate the country and keep western Europe off balance."
Power added that "It requires further depth of monitoring and analysis, and it requires us to question our resources and how we respond and how we maintain the integrity of our territory."
He also told RTÉ News that "It's very much about trying to influence public opinion, trying to intimidate public opinion, trying to intimidate the body politics," referring to Russian tactics.
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