One Russian Diplomat To Be Asked To Leave Ireland
One Russian diplomat will be asked to leave Ireland in response to the Salisbury spy poisoning.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has informed the Russian Ambassador of their intention to 'terminate' diplomatic credentials for one staff member.
The decision has been made after a security review by the gardaí, security services and high level officials in the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Justice and the Taoiseach's Department.
The Government don't intend to provide details about the embassy staff member who's being expelled, but say they're satisfied the most appropriate course of action is being taken.
Sources concede they can't independently verify whether Russia was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripol and his daughter.
However, they're satisfied with the evidence provided by Theresa May and believe it's highly likely Russia is responsible.
Department sources also say there would be no grounds for retaliation from the Russian side to Ireland's expulsion of a diplomat, and say any retaliation against Irish officials would be entirely without foundation.
Simon Coveney. Picture by: Artur Widak/SIPA USA/PA Images
In a statement, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the move follows EU leaders unanimously agreeing with the UK government's assessment last week.
He explained: “I have briefed the Government on my intended course of action.
"The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has subsequently met with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation and informed him that the accreditation of a member of his staff with diplomatic status is to be terminated, in line with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The individual in question is required to leave the jurisdiction."
Ireland joins more than a dozen EU countries, as well as the likes of the US and Australia, in expelling Russian diplomats.
Today 14 EU Member States decided to expel Russian diplomats as direct follow-up to #EUCO discussion last week on #SalisburyAttack. Additional measures including further expulsions are not excluded in coming days, weeks.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 26, 2018