The Minister for Foreign Affairs is to raise the issue of Russia engaging in military exercises off Irish waters with the Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov.

Minister for State Patrick O'Donovan told RTÉ's The Week in Politics that Simon Coveney "is not happy with this and will raise it with the Ambassador."

He said it would also be raised a meeting of European leaders.

Civilian aircraft will be routed away from an area out at sea off the Cork coast when Russia is due to conduct the navy artillery exercise there in early February, the Irish Aviation authority has said.

The IAA says it has been made aware that the Russian military drill will take place in international waters - but within Ireland's exclusive economic zone - 240 kilometres off the southwest coast.

In a statement, the IAA said the safety of Irish airspace will not be compromised by the Russian navy artillery test.

The authority said that, while not common, notifications for similar activity in international waters within Irish-controlled airspace are received from time to time from other jurisdictions.

The same procedures are applied to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft at all times, they said.

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The Department of Transport said it has been informed that the safety of civil aircraft operations will not be compromised by the exercises.

Sinn Féin's defence spokesperson Sorca Clarke has expressed concern about the exercise.

In a statement, Ms Clarke said the lack of primary radar was the reason other state entities had been probing Irish airspace for years with high-altitude bombers and escorts.

She said that while a 2015 White Paper recognised that radar surveillance is a priority, there has been "no meaningful action by government since then to deliver on it".

The Longford-Westmeath TD also said that Defence Forces staffing levels have been impacted by reducing levels over recent years.

A security analyst has said that Russia has chosen to carry out missile tests off the coast of Ireland to "send a message" to Europe and NATO.

Dr Tom Clonan described Ireland as being a "weak link" in Europe when it comes to security and defence.

"Ireland is responsible for 220 million maritime acres of ocean, but we can't patrol it. We have nine ships, four of them are tied up with crew shortages. We can't see into our airpace, as we are the only country in the EU with no primary radar," he said.

He said that we have one of the busiest air corridors in Europe, with 75% of traffic from the EU and Middle East going through Irish airspace, but that we are "effectively relying on the RAF in Britain" to control our skies.

"The Russians are sending a very clear signal to Europe that Ireland is Europe's weakest link when it comes to defence; in security, in the air, at sea and in our cyber domain," he said.

"They do nothing by mistake, they're sending a message to the EU and NATO that 'your defence is weak and this is our back door into Europe'."

Dr Clonan said that defence spending in Ireland has "fallen off a cliff in the last 20 years" and that the country is by far one of the lowest spenders on defence in Europe.