The war is putting high-ranking government ministers here in the spotlight

Vladimir Putin, as an evil dictator who would once take power in Europe, perhaps saved a few political skins. The effect of his genocide in Ukraine forced some ordinary lily-loving leaders elsewhere to take a course in morally correctness.

On Thursday, Boris Johnson, whose relationship with morals is not considered close, decided to impose sanctions on the dirty rich owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich . It would have been unthinkable a few weeks ago.

The message is very powerful. Abramovich is not only well-connected in the Kremlin. He has close ties to the UK Government. The British Foreign Secretary for housing, Michael Gove, has received tickets to Chelsea games at Stamford Bridge and Manchester City games at the Etihad over the years.

Abramovich is possibly the most famous tycoon on the planet. Chelsea sit in third place in the premier league. Football fans are the lifeblood of British politicians. However, Boris went on the run.

The decision to sanction Abramovich shows that a bit of backbone from a country can make a real difference. Johnson was caressing a tycoon who had bought off the affections of decent ordinary citizens.

In Ireland, we have our own Russian tycoon. Our politicians have the opportunity to demonstrate Ireland’s similar resolve to the hugely profitable commercial practices of Oleg Deripaska, part owner of Aughinish Alumina, an aluminum smelter in Limerick.

On Thursday, Guardians The newspaper described him as “Putin’s favorite industrialist”. Deripaska does not own a football team, but he does have a large income from his operation in Limerick. On Thursday, the British government named him, along with Abramovich and five other tycoons, the target of an asset freeze and travel ban in the UK.

Unfortunately, neither Ireland nor the European Union have taken any similar action against Deripaska or his interests here. Naturally, the Government is concerned about any possible consequences for the 450 jobs in Limerick.

Our politicians have a dilemma: they can preach to others about the evils of oligarchs and the need for sanctions against Putin, but they need to be on their own. set an example by handling the 45pc owner of Aughinish Alumina. It would be shameful and morally wrong if Deripaska’s vast portfolio of assets in the UK were frozen while his operations there remained untouched. Compared to the notoriously cruel Boris, are we soft on the question of Putin?

Politicians in Ireland have a real chance to show their mettle in the face of Moscow’s intimidation. Simon Coveney, whose star has faded recently due to his involvement in a series of Covid controversies, was opened to show his commitment to the sanctions on Thursday. Driving time program on RTÉ. In response to a question about Deripaska and Aughinish, he offered words and begged that the European Union not impose sanctions on aluminum.

And why not? Simon can now restore his reputation as a principled politician by demonstrating that Ireland is uncompromising in the matter of sanctions. He may have revealed a plan for the Limerick refinery which leaves us in the dark about the oligarch, spelling out a government decision to declare Deripaska a non-grata in Ireland . He could show that as a country we are ready to take the blow, like Germany did with the freezing of the gas pipeline from Russia, and like the British move against Chelsea and Abramovich.

Simon Coveney is a highly capable politician who doesn’t always sway with every local breeze. As Ireland’s foreign minister, he has a unique opportunity to counter Putin’s diabolical support. The toxic tentacles of the Russian president have spread everywhere. His access to domestic politics has influenced the fortunes of many political careers. His timing, to invade Ukraine just as Covid was cooling off in Europe, changed the political landscape around the world.

The priorities of politicians have shifted away from the loss of countless lives from a pandemic to the deaths of thousands of innocent people through war, maybe even nuclear war. Economic sanctions have changed the game.

In Ireland, Putin’s economic war with Russia has suddenly put the nation’s finances in jeopardy and disoriented politicians. Coveney is back on center stage. While not a major player on a global level, he is suddenly capable of restoring his reputation back home by making difficult decisions with an ethical background.

Other ministers, such as Paschal Donohoe, were brought into unfamiliar territory. Last week, he convincingly dismissed opposition complaints that current fuel subsidies are not enough, reminding them that we are at war. Last month, he was a donor of shelter from the economic storms caused by Covid; The current for the first time in a long career he is the enemy of war-induced inflation.

Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion means we’ll hear more from Paschal and much less from Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly. That could be a stroke of luck. There is a large segment of people who would rather hear bad news from the reassuring Donohoe than good news from the unlucky Donnelly.

Putin’s invasion landed Justice Secretary Helen McEntee in the hot seat, where she was welcoming perhaps hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to Ireland. The great rush of goodwill, which we are extending to them today, may not be so overwhelming as they are jostling for housing, welfare benefits, and a place to study. Let’s hope it works out, but it will be a formidable test for her. Real leaders will emerge from this crisis.

And it will be a sobering test of the opposition. Wars tend to unite politicians with the people in the national interest. So far, we’ve only been in a war of punishment, but it involves pain for innocent citizens caught in the fire. If the Government can mobilize public opinion on a semi-war position, opposing taking advantage of rising inflation with Putin’s help mood may be misjudged.

In a move that recognizes the new, somber political climate, the performance of Mary Lou and Michael Martin appears to have been called a truce. Unaware of the war in Ukraine, the Labor Party waged its own uprising, unanimously deposing its leader in a secret, bloodless coup. Labour’s ruthless raiding soldiers could teach any suspicious dissident in the Kremlin a trick or two.

The political sands are changing. The war is putting high-ranking government ministers here in the spotlight

Fry Electronics Team

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