Fine Gael TD calls for closure of Russian embassy in Dublin and expulsion of ambassador

"It is not in our interest anymore for this embassy to remain open. It's not in the EU's interest."

Russian Embassy in Dublin

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond has called for the Russian embassy to be closed and the ambassador expelled from Ireland.

His words come off the back of mass banning of 52 Irish officials from Russia for their alleged “aggressive anti-Russia propaganda campaign.”

Neale Richmond represents Dublin Rathdown, where the Russian embassy is situated, and told Newstalk Breakfast the embassy should go.

He said the Russian ambassador has been "stirring up extremely worrying falsehoods" that are "damaging Ireland's national interest" and wants him expelled from the country.

"This is just the latest intervention by the Russian Federation in relation to Ireland that merits that closure", he said.

"I've been extremely worried that so far we've expelled four diplomats from the Russian embassy on suspicion of espionage.

"I'd be very concerned that the embassy, which has a staff of 28, is still carrying out very clear acts of misinformation and disinformation in relation to Russia's brutal war in Ukraine.”

He said Ireland should follow Lithuania and Bulgaria in closing the embassy.

"It is not in our interest anymore for this embassy to remain open. It's not in the EU's interest."

"And the Russian Ambassador continues to fire off missiles and act aggressively towards our own political leaders of all parties involved."

Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Justice Minister Helen McEntee were banned from Russia.

The Kremlin said the Government has been “fuelling Russophobic hysteria in Irish society.”

The Taoiseach told the Dáil that the news that his ban from Russia "is a new development".

"I don't think I've ever been sanctioned before,” he said.

The Taoiseach said this latest move by Russia is part of a “broader propaganda war being waged” by the nation in the Ukrainian conflict.

"I think cool heads are always required in situations like this," he added.

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