Taoiseach Micheal Martin and 51 other politicians and officials sanctioned by Russia

Micheal Martin
Taoiseach Micheal Martin Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Russia has placed sanctions on Taoiseach Micheal Martin and 51 other Irish ministers, politicians and officials.

In a statement on Telegram, the Kremlin said the action was being taken “in response to the anti-Russian course of the Irish government”.

Among the 52 “key representatives” of Ireland are Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney, Minister of Justice Helen McEntee and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

The chair of the Irish parliament’s lower house, Sean O’Fearghail, is also included on the list.

Mr Martin said he was not aware of his sanctioning until Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond asked him about it in the Dail chamber.

“It’s a new development, don’t think I’ve ever been sanctioned before, so I have to be updated on that and see what the implications of that are,” he said.

He said it is “part of a broader propaganda war being raged by Russia” and solidarity across Europe is needed.

When asked if he will close the Russian embassy in Dublin in response, Mr Martin said: “Diplomacy matters in the end of the day, no matter how unpalatable it can be at certain times, so I think cool heads are always required in situations like this.”

Commenting on her inclusion on the sanctions list, Ms McEntee said: “I stand by anything that I’ve said in relation to Russia and the ongoing barbaric and illegal war that is being waged on Ukraine.

“Like my colleagues, I stand fully behind the people of Ukraine and whatever comes of that decision by the Russian government, that’s their decision.

“But it certainly won’t change my views and my position and the fact that we need to support Ukraine and all of their citizens in any way that we can.”

Mr Coveney said Ireland will be making “no apology” for being “on the side of international law, the UN Charter, the side of Ukraine and the right side of history”.

“Russia should end its illegal war of aggression, stop killing innocent civilians and shelling of infrastructure,” he added.

Making the announcement, the Kremlin said: “Acting under the dictation of Brussels, Ireland is conducting an aggressive anti-Russian propaganda campaign, a course has been taken to curtail bilateral cooperation to the detriment of its own interests.

“One of the consequences of fuelling Russophobic hysteria in Irish society was the attack on the Russian Embassy in Dublin in March of this year.”

It said it would be “guided by the position of Dublin” in relation to further measures.

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