It’s been revealed that two Donegal representatives are on a list of Irish politicians now ‘banned’ from Russia.
Fianna Fáil Senator Niall Blaney and Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh are both banned by the Kremlin alongside 50 other representatives.
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow claims the politicians are promoting Ireland’s “aggressive anti-Russian propaganda campaign” and “Russophobic hysteria in Irish society.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs contacted each of the officials named on Russia’s list on Thursday. Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, Justice Minister Helen McEntee, and the parliament speaker, Seán Ó Fearghaíl were specified as the top leaders banned, as well as 46 others.
Senator Blaney said he found the sanction funny.
He tweeted: “Got a good laugh at getting a call this eve from foreign affairs to let me know I’m one of 52.”
“Bullies do not do much for me.”
In light of Russia’s move, there have been calls for the government to expel Russian ambassador Yury Filatov from Ireland, but this remains unlikely.
Senator Blaney said: “Getting rid of the Russian ambassador gives Putin the right to do the same with ours. Time to keep the head and play smart.”