'Horrific threat' | 

Senator Tom Clonan says Russian ambassador must be summoned over nuclear threat 

"We should be asking him to confirm, is this a plan? Is this something you are considering?"

Senator Tom Clonan (Norma Burke/PA)

Clodagh Meaney

Senator Tom Clonan has said that Russian ambassador Yury Filatov must answer questions over Russia’s nuclear threat to Ireland.

The Security and Defence analyst said that while he should not be expelled from Ireland he must be summoned to explain the threat.

“I would say to threaten the Irish people with violence [is unacceptable],” Clonan told Newstalk Breakfast.

“We are a neutral state, we have always been a positive actor in international affairs and we are members of the UN security council.”

“I really would like to see the UN and its secretary general take a much more vocal and active role in calling out Putin,” he continued.

“The concept of having an ambassador and a channel of communication is something that goes right back to medieval times, even during the most bitter conflicts in the past,” he said.

“So, I don’t think we are at that point yet but certainly [Ambassador Yuri] Filatov should be called in and we should be asking him to confirm, is this a plan? Is this something you are considering?”

It comes after a Russian news programme has simulated a nuclear attack off the coast of Donegal that would wipe out Ireland and turn it into a “radioactive desert.”

The report came from Russian state TV anchor Dmitry Kiselyov, who spoke as a simulation of an underwater missile being set off in the Atlantic Ocean with the aim of attacking Great Britain.

Despite there being no mention of Ireland in the broadcast, the clip shows the country being obliterated by the weapon - a giant nuclear-capable torpedo dubbed Poseidon - first.

Kiselyov, who is known as “Putin's mouthpiece”, explains: “Another option is to plunge Britain into the depths of sea using Russia's unmanned underwater vehicle Poisedon.

Clonan said the broadcast was “significant on a number of levels”.

“Basically, the person who is presenting these clips of the detonations off the Irish coast is a guy called Dmitry Kiselyov and he is very close to Vladimir Putin,” he explained.

“He is one of his inner circle, so on one level, this tells you about the thinking in the Kremlin. How disinhibited they are now about the threat of nuclear retaliation on the west.”

“This was first raised in February by Putin himself when he warned the world of a retaliation of which humanity has never seen before,” he continued.

He added the threat presented on the broadcast “would represent the destruction of both countries and basically the annihilation of millions and millions of people."

“It is an absolutely horrific threat, I mean to actually put it into a graphic and to present it in that way.”

Senator Clonan reminded people that the broadcast is Russian propaganda, with the country unlikely to act on their threat.

“I know there are a lot of people listening to this who will be frightened by this or it may provoke fear or unease.”

“The chances of this happening are extremely small. This is just propaganda, but it is, nevertheless, completely unacceptable language.”

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