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Russia relocates naval exercise near Ireland after Irish fishermen pledged to disrupt it

“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.

Western powers’ diplomatic overtures to Russia, aimed at de-escalating tensions over Ukraine, have made little headway in recent weeks.

Irish fishermen have seen more success, reports The Washington Post.

Russia said it would relocate naval exercises scheduled to take place off Ireland’s southern coast beginning Feb. 3 following an outcry from local fishermen, who had pledged to protest the exercises and launched a diplomatic campaign to convince Russia to change course.

Yuri Filatov, the Russian ambassador to Ireland, said in a news release Saturday that Russia’s defense minister had decided, “as a gesture of goodwill,” to move the military exercises outside of Ireland’s exclusive economic zone “with the aim not to hinder fishing activities by the Irish vessels in the traditional fishing areas.”

Fishermen near Cork in southern Ireland cheered the announcement, and social media users circulated posts commending them for standing up to Russia.

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