Ireland confirms expulsion of Russian diplomat

Russia's Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin as the government has confirmed it will expel a Russian diplomat. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo
Russia's Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin as the government has confirmed it will expel a Russian diplomat. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

Ireland’s deputy premier described the Salisbury chemical attack as an affront to international law and order as he announced the expulsion of one Russian diplomat.

Simon Coveney expressed solidarity with the UK as he confirmed Ireland as the latest country to take action against Moscow in the wake of the nerve agent assassination bid.

Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain critically ill in hospital following the March 4 attack, which has been widely blamed on Russia.

Tanaiste and foreign affairs minister Mr Coveney announced the expulsion after briefing cabinet colleagues at Government Buildings on Tuesday morning.

“The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons, by anyone, anywhere, is particularly shocking and abhorrent,” he said.

“The attack in Salisbury was not just an attack against the United Kingdom, but an affront to the international rules-based system on which we all depend for our security and well-being.

“In light of the European Council conclusions, and following an assessment conducted by the security services and relevant departments, I have briefed the Government on my intended course of action.

“The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has subsequently met with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation and informed him that the accreditation of a member of his staff with diplomatic status is to be terminated, in line with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

“The individual in question is required to leave the jurisdiction.”

Russia has 17 accredited diplomats working out of the Russian embassy in Rathgar in south Dublin.

Ahead of an anticipated expulsion announcement, Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, had warned against any action that might “ruin” the relationship between the two countries.

“We should be concerned about the best interest of the Irish public and best interest of the Russian public - the Irish/Russian relations,” he told RTE on Monday night.

“We have a huge amount of good will, we have a very nice relationship - positive, constructive, stable relations, open dialogue and good business.

“I don’t see anything which would really point to the necessity to ruin it.”