blacklist | 

Vladimir Putin bans Taoiseach and Tánaiste from Russia over support for Ukraine

Micheál Martin is among 50 Irish officials banned from entering Russia, it has been reported

Taoiseach Micheál Martin© Gareth Chaney

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has been banned from entering Russia by Vladimir Putin's government over Ireland’s support for Ukraine and Western sanctions.

RTÉ is reporting that Mr Martin is among more than 50 top Irish officials on a blacklist of people not allowed to enter the country.

They include Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, as well as a number of other key officials and politicians.

"Acting under orders from Brussels, Ireland is conducting an aggressive anti-Russian propaganda campaign," said a Russian foreign ministry statement.

It added: "In response to the anti-Russian course of the Irish government, which unconditionally supports the unilateral restrictive measures introduced by the European Union against Russian citizens aimed at attempts to isolate our country internationally, a decision was made to include 52 key representatives of the leadership and politicians of Ireland in the Russian ‘stop list’.

"The list of Irish citizens who are no longer allowed to enter the Russian Federation includes, in particular, Prime Minister M. Martin, his deputy L. Varadkar, Chairman of the Doyle (sic) (Dail Eireann) (lower house of parliament) S. Ó Fearghaíl, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence S. Coveney, Minister of Justice H. McEntee, Minister of Finance P. Donohoe, as well as a number of senators and deputies of the lower house of parliament.

"Acting under the dictation of Brussels, Ireland is conducting an aggressive anti-Russian propaganda campaign, a course has been taken to curtail bilateral cooperation to the detriment of its own interests.

"One of the consequences of fuelling Russophobic hysteria in Irish society was the attack on the Russian Embassy in Dublin in March of this year.

"With regard to our other measures, we will be guided by the position of Dublin."

It is the latest in a barrage of largely symbolic moves by Russia against prominent figures from Western countries that have condemned its war in Ukraine.

As a member of the European Union, Ireland has joined sanctions against Russia over its Feb. 24 invasion and the two countries have expelled some of each other's diplomats.

Moscow also demanded an apology in March after a man drove a lorry through the gates of its Dublin embassy to protest against the war.

More to follow...

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