Fine Gael MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Tuesday) said that the Government is right to act in solidarity with the UK. The Dublin MEP was speaking following confirmation that one Russian diplomat will be expelled from Ireland for Russia’s role in the Salisbury attacks in the UK.
“What happened in Salisbury was a reckless public assassination attempt. It was the first time a chemical weapon was used in Europe since World War 2. Two people are continuing to fight for their lives, a police officer was injured and it is yet unknown how many innocent members of the general public have been affected.”
“It is absolutely right that Ireland shows solidarity with our nearest neighbour – the United Kingdom. It is not the first time that Ireland has expelled a Russian diplomat. In 2011 a Russian diplomat was expelled after an investigation concluded that Russia’s intelligence service used stolen Irish identities as cover for spies operating in the United States.”
“The EU must stand together. It must stand against attempts to undermine western democracies. We have seen how Russia destabilised the Ukraine with the annexation of Crimea, carried out cyber-attacks in the Baltic States, had direct interventions in elections – in particular the 2016 US election and continues to rally right wing populist parties across Europe.”
“The decision today by the Government to join other EU leaders in expelling Russian diplomats is a sign of unity. It will send a clear and strong message to Russia that there actions will not be tolerated” concluded MEP Hayes.