THE RUSSIAN ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov has told Russian state-owned television that Ireland is "hostile to Russia and everything Russian" and at the forefront of "anti-Russian events" in the European Union.
Speaking to Russian 24, he described recent protesters outside the Russian embassy in Dublin as "really aggressive" and said some Russian children faced bullying as a result.
The situation in Ireland is "frankly difficult," he said, and he accused the media for portraying an “absolutely tendentious picture” of the Ukraine invasion.
A copy of the interview with Russia 24 was sent to Russian citizen Masha Vasilieva, who has been living in Ireland for the last nine years.
She posted a translated version on YouTube, according to a report in The Irish Times, which said her translation has been verified.
"Naturally, the general political situation is simply hostile towards Russia and everything Russian," he said. "A very negative role of course is being played by mass media that shows [an] absolutely tendentious picture of the events happening in Ukraine at the political level."
"Ireland is in the forefront in the European Union and wider, with regards to various anti-Russian events. In this regard, it is probably hardly possible to talk now about any relations between Russia and Ireland. We are mainly supporting a channel of communication with the Irish."
Mr Filatov said that "maybe they will stop going crazy in the West" and come to understand "reality".
"But for now we are dealing with what we have," he continued. "The embassy is now in the extreme tension. We are registering constant threats against employees of the embassy that we are receiving via e-mail and phone calls."
He said he and staff were solving the issues with the Gardaí and the Ministry of Foreign Affair
The ambassador said Russian citizens in Ireland are receiving "threats of reprisal" and reported cases of bullying of Russian children in Irish schools.
"Unfortunately, there are cases of bullying and this is very sad, because in general, in my opinion, the Irish are kind and responsive, but sometimes when they absolutely don't understand the situation, they take sides without any analysis and they act based on it. This is influencing our kids unfortunately, who are studying here."
There have been calls for the ambassador to be expelled, however Minister Simon Coveney has rejected the idea as he said he needs to keep lines of communication open with Irish people in Russia.
A recent interview with the ambassador with RTÉ's David McCullagh, where the interviewer claimed Filatov was an "apologist for slaughter," went viral internationally at the end of February.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 25, 2022