Update: Russian Ambassador says expulsion of diplomats from Ireland would be an 'unfriendly action'

Update 1.13pm: Ireland's Russian ambassador Yury Filatov has said he hoped Ireland will use its common sense in assessing any action it may take.

Earlier today Leo Varadkar confirmed Ireland is to consider taking actions against Russian diplomats after the nerve agent attack in the UK.

Mr Varadkar said: "A security assessment will be done - the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tanaiste (Simon Coveney), and I already spoke about this - in the coming days so we will make that decision, I would say, the early part of next week."

Mr Filatov told RTÉ any expulsion of Russian diplomats from Ireland would be an "unfriendly action, that is certain".

He said Russia had nothing to do with the poisoning and there was no evidence or proof to suggest otherwise.

- PA

Earlier: Ireland to consider taking action against Russian diplomats after UK nerve agent attack

The Taoiseach has confirmed Ireland is to consider taking actions against Russian diplomats after the nerve agent attack in the UK, writes Juno McEnroe.

Speaking at the second day of an EU summit, he said the Tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs Simon Coveney would carry out a review of the presence and activities of Russian diplomats or agents in Ireland in the coming days.

Ireland last night signed up to an EU statement agreeing that it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack on a former spy and his daughter.

The EU will now recall its ambassador to Moscow in a show of solidarity with Britain.

In the EU council statement following an evening of talks in Brussels, the European Council of EU leaders agreed "there is no plausible alternative explanation".

British prime minister Theresa May had said the Salisbury poisoning was "part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe.

Mr Varadkar said it was his and French president Emmanuel Macron's recommendation to change the EU position and therefore make the statement.

A decision will now be made by Ireland on whether or not to expel Russian diplomats.

Mr Varadkar explained: "A security assessment will be done by the Tanaiste in the coming days."

Jun0 McEnroe is reporting from Brussels


 

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