Fine Gael's Brendan Griffin urges expulsion of Russian ambassador to Ireland

A Government TD has called for the immediate expulsion of Russia’s ambassador to Ireland over his country’s alleged involvement in “possible war crimes” in the Syrian city Aleppo.

Kerry TD and Fine Gael member Brendan Griffin made the call last night after “unsuccessful efforts” to try and have the issue raised in the Dáil.

In a statement, he said that while he welcomes the decision by Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan to raise Ireland’s concerns directly with Russian ambassador Maxim Peshkov, he fears the formal talks will not go far enough.

Insisting this country must make some attempt to highlight its concerns over the deepening four-year-long humanitarian crisis in the Syrian city, Mr Griffin said the Government must consider expelling Mr Peshkov .

“I now believe that the Dáil should prioritise time to discuss the unfolding horror in Aleppo and give full consideration to the possible expulsion of the Russian ambassador from Ireland in protest at his country’s deplorable actions against the ordinary men, women, and children of Syria,” he said.

“The savagery being unleashed in Aleppo at present rivals anything in the history of human conflict. The world cannot ignore this situation and even small countries like Ireland must make our protestations heard. Numerous reports from reputable agencies have indicated that Russia is complicit in the carrying out of war crimes in Syria.

“As a nation, we cannot allow such actions to occur without repercussion and I hope that the Dáil will give this matter full attention at the earliest possible time.”

Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died in Aleppo since it became embroiled in the Syrian civil war. Humanitarian groups say the city is at the centre of a proxy war between Russia and the US.


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