Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald has called for significant strengthening of EU sanctions on Russia, including the expulsion of the Russian Ambassador to Ireland.
Speaking this afternoon, Ms McDonald said;
“It is clear that significantly strenthened sanctions on Russia are needed. The situation has now reached a point where this must include the expulsion of the Russian Amabassador to Ireland.
“The sanctions announced to date against the Russian Federation and the oligarch elites close to President Putin are having no effect in deterring the invasion of Ukraine. They are simply insufficient to persuade Putin to reverse course.
“Our solidarity with Ukraine must take the form of significantly strengthened sanctions against the regime of President Putin. We need sanctions which can end Russian aggression against Ukraine and force a complete withdrawal of Russian military forces.
“The IFSC in Dublin is a significant European centre for financial services. The Irish Government therefore needs to take a lead in arguing for rapid and decisive sanctions which freeze the assets of Putin’s financial backers, and which shut off the Russian banking system from the European banking system.
“The European Union cannot take a wait and see approach to the course of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
“Putin has already crossed the threshold of where the EU promised a decisive response.
“The EU must act today with sanctions of such scale where there can be no doubt that Putin, and his oligarch supporters will pay a huge price for choosing the course of military conflict over dialogue and diplomacy.”