Ireland must keep Russian ambassador here for future peace talks, says Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

According to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Ireland must keep the Russian ambassador here for future peace talks.

It comes after Russia expelled two Irish diplomats yesterday.

Despite calls from the opposition to expel Ambassador Yuriy Filatov, Mr Varadkar said once diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed, they would be difficult to restore.

The Irish government last week decided to expel four Russian diplomats from the Orwell Road embassy after they allegedly engaged in espionage activities.

“The reason we don’t want to expel the Russian ambassador at this point is that when we get to the point where we expel ambassadors, we might see an end to diplomatic relations between two countries, and that is very difficult to tackle again,” he said.

“We have citizens in Russia that we want to look out for.”

He said if the ambassador is expelled, it will be done “in cooperation” with other EU countries.

Lithuania was the only EU country that expelled its Russian ambassador and closed the Russian embassy.

“Eventually there will be peace talks, there will be a ceasefire, there will be some sort of foreign peace deal and I don’t think it would make sense for us to sever diplomatic ties on that,” Mr Varadkar said this morning.

Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said in a statement last night that the expulsions of Irish diplomats were unjustified.

“There is no justification for this measure.

“Staff at the Embassy of Ireland in Moscow neither have nor exercise any duties or functions incompatible with their diplomatic status,” he said. Ireland must keep Russian ambassador here for future peace talks, says Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Fry Electronics Team

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