Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald calling for expulsion of Russian ambassador to Ireland

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald calling for expulsion of Russian ambassador to Ireland

LEADER OF Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald has called for the Russian ambassador to Ireland to be expelled.

She made the call yesterday for the expulsion of Yury Filatov, and said that tougher sanctions are needed

"It is clear that significantly strenthened sanctions on Russia are needed," she said. "The situation has now reached a point where this must include the expulsion of the Russian Amabassador to Ireland."

"The sanctions announced to date against the Russian Federation and the oligarch elites close to President Putin are having no effect in deterring the invasion of Ukraine. They are simply insufficient to persuade Putin to reverse course."

Ms McDonald expressed her solidarity with Ukraine, and said that continued solidarity must "take the form of significantly strengthened sanctions against the regime of President Putin."

"We need sanctions which can end Russian aggression against Ukraine and force a complete withdrawal of Russian military forces.

"The International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin is a significant European centre for financial services. The Irish Government therefore needs to take a lead in arguing for rapid and decisive sanctions which freeze the assets of Putin’s financial backers, and which shut off the Russian banking system from the European banking system.

She said the EU "cannot take a wait and see approach to the course of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine’s sovereign territory."

"Putin has already crossed the threshold of where the EU promised a decisive response.

"The EU must act today with sanctions of such scale where there can be no doubt that Putin, and his oligarch supporters will pay a huge price for choosing the course of military conflict over dialogue and diplomacy."

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said later on Friday that the decision by the EU to freeze the assets of President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in fresh sanctions was "the right thing to do because they are the key decision makers in terms of what's happened"

"I think both of those names will be added to a long list of other names,” Mr Coveney said as he arrived for an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers to hash out further sanctions.

Brendan Howlin, Labour's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, also said that "a coordinated EU and likeminded countries response" in expelling Ambassadors from Russia should be sought.

"The invasion of a democratic country on our continent with such brutality has not been seen since the second world war.

"Ireland must show its strong adherence to international law and human rights by taking a lead in these issues and providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine. We should welcome to Ireland those who seek refuge from this terrible conflict."