LONDON, November 19. /TASS/. The Irish lawmakers’ call for reducing the staff of the Russian embassy in Ireland as a response to Russia’s sanctions is nothing but hysterics, the Russian embassy told TASS on Friday.
"We believe that the situation when calls for reducing the Russian embassy’s staff is voiced in Ireland’s political space is nothing but hysterics and the calls have a hypothetic nature. The Irish side is fully aware that Russia is guided by the principles of reciprocity on matters of diplomatic presence and any unfriendly steps against us will have a prompt adequate response," said the embassy’s press secretary, Nikita Isakin.
The embassy confirmed that Ambassador Yury Filatov had been summoned to the Irish foreign ministry. "Yesterday, on November 17, Russian Ambassador to Ireland Mr. Filatov had a conversation at the Irish foreign ministry. The ambassador explained to the Irish side the essence of the Russian foreign ministry’s statement of November 16 on personal sanctions against Irish government officials and political figures," Isakiv said.
According to the embassy, Filatov drew attention to the fact that Russia’s measures are a "response to the chain of hostile actions taken by the Irish authorities against Russia in recent months, including their support for the EU anti-Russian sanctions and Dublin’s Russophobic rhetoric sometimes sliding to open insults to Russian officials." "In this context, it was stressed that Irish officials’ attempts at demonstrating protest or indignation are inappropriate as it is obvious that their own activities aimed against Russia could not be unanswered," the spokesman added.
Earlier in the day, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ireland’s parliament called for expelling a number of employees of the Russian embassy in Dublin following Moscow’s blacklisting 52 key Irish officials and politicians in response to Dublin’s anti-Russian policy. The Russian blacklist of Irish nationals banned from entering Russia includes in particular Prime Minister Micheal Martin, his deputy Leo Varadkar, Speaker of the Dail Eireann (lower house of parliament) Sean O Fearghail, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Simon Coveney, Justice Minister Helen McEntee, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, as well as several senators and members of the lower house of parliament.