Irish Foreign Office responds after Russian ambassador’s TV interview on deteriorating relations

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THE Irish Foreign Office has said the invasion of Russia is a ‘flagrant breach of international law’ – but they want to maintain friendship with the Russian people.

This was in response to the statement of the Russian ambassador on Russian television about the deterioration of relations.

In a six-minute interview with a Russian newscast, Ambassador Yury Filatov complained about the protests at his embassy and claimed the Irish had taken sides without analysis.

Mr Filatov told Russia-24 Channel – one of the country’s main public broadcasters – that Ireland was at the forefront of the European Union in staging anti-Russian events.

But a Foreign Office spokesperson responded last night, saying: ‘Ireland is at the forefront of efforts across the UN to end this conflict and hold Russia accountable.

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“Russia’s invasion is a flagrant violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations and the unanimous all-party motion in the Dáil could not have clarified that.”

The ministry statement continued that Ireland had backed EU sanctions in response to the situation which are the most extensive ever adopted.

The statement adds: “This week, we banned major Russian banks from SWIFT and banned Russian media from spreading disinformation in the EU.

“The EU has responded as it promised: with unity, firmness and determination.

“The effectiveness of these sanctions is evident and discussions on further measures continue.

“The adoption of a strong UN General Assembly resolution, supported by the overwhelming majority (141) of UN member states, is also a powerful global rejection of Russia’s aggression against a state sovereign.”

But the department’s spokesman said he wanted to keep diplomatic channels open between the two countries and maintain friendship with the Russian people.

“As far as bilateral relations are concerned at present, it is important to keep diplomatic channels open with Russia, in particular to protect our interests and our citizens.

“We also want to maintain our friendship with the Russian people, many of whom deeply disagree with President Putin’s aggressive and illegal actions in Ukraine.

“Like all other responses we have deployed, we are coordinating closely with EU partners to ensure decisions have a meaningful impact.”

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