Mary Lou McDonald TD reiterates call for expulsion of Russian Ambassador
Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD today reiterated her call for Russian Ambassador Yuriy Filatov to be expelled from Ireland.
In her remarks responding to the address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Oireachtas, Ms McDonald also expressed her support for Ukraine's stated desire to join the European Union and for Ireland to use its seat on the UN Security Council to bring about a Russian withdrawal and an end to the war.
Ms McDonald said:
"Russia has closed the door on dialogue and through its criminal actions it has thus far rejected avenues for diplomacy.
"Far from demonstrating a willingness to engage in peace negotiations, Russia has escalated its ferocious violence through the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.
"All the while, however, the Russian Embassy in Ireland and Ambassador Yury Filatov have acted as unwavering and unapologetic propagandists for his country's illegal invasion of Ukraine.
"Yesterday Lithuania became the first EU member state to expel its Russian ambassador. It did so as an action to uphold human rights and justice.
"I commend Lithuania on that and believe our country should follow suit. That would be a most powerful action for us to take as a militarily neutral, non-aligned State as we too stand for human rights and justice. I call on the Taoiseach and the Government to act now.
"The people of Ireland stand with Ukraine. We strongly support Ukraine's stated desire to join the European Union.
"We must respond to the humanitarian crisis by providing refuge to those fleeing for their lives.
"As an elected member of the UN Security Council, we must use every available avenue to press for the de-escalation of conflict, for a ceasefire, for dialogue and for a Russian withdrawal and an end to this terrible war.
"Ireland supports economic sanctions against Russia. We must intensify those sanctions. We should not have to convince anybody of the need to hit the Russian elites and oligarchs in every possible way.
"The revelations of these war crimes and atrocities demand such an intensification of sanctions.
"The people of Ukraine will win-out over brutality and injustice.
"In that spirit of hope and standing on the foundation stones of our shared humanity, Ukraine will emerge once more into a new dawn of peace and freedom.
"Ireland stands with you now in your dark days and we will stand with you yet in the light of a victory of humanity over injustice, of light over dark, of life over death. Slava Ukraini."