Gary Gannon TD

The Taoiseach has been quite vague about the reasons for the expulsion of these four diplomats

The decision to expel four Russian diplomats is welcome – but raises further questions, according to Social Democrats Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Gary Gannon.

“I welcome today’s announcement today that the government has expelled four Russian diplomats from Ireland. However, it is regrettable that it has taken some considerable time – more than four weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine – for these expulsions to take place.

“It is also regrettable that the Ambassador, who lied to the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee about Russia’s intention to invade Ukraine, remains in situ at the embassy in the aptly named Orwell Road. If the invasion of a sovereign State in Europe is not sufficient cause to expel an Ambassador, I am at a loss to suggest an offence grave enough to warrant expulsion.

“As it stands, the Taoiseach has been quite vague about the reasons for the expulsion of these four diplomats. He has said “their activities are not in accordance with the international standards of diplomatic behaviour”.

“This raises more questions than it answers. When the United States expelled Russian diplomats from the UN mission in New York, it was quite clear that those diplomats had engaged in “espionage activities”. Why is it that the United States can be clear, but the Irish government must be ambiguous?

“We know that there are serious concerns about the size of the Russian embassy in Dublin and its large number of staff – which, even after these expulsions, will number 27, a staffing contingent far in excess of embassies of other countries with whom we have far stronger ties.

“The government must now provide more detail about the reasons for these expulsions and explain whether it has any ongoing concerns about the scale, size and activities of the Russian embassy in Dublin.”

29 March, 2022


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