Independent Senators Michael McDowell, Victor Boyhan and David Norris today said that the Russian Ambassador to Ireland should not have been invited to the Oireachtas for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address, which is due to take place on Wednesday, 6th of April 2022.
Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD invited all officially accredited ambassadors to the Ukrainian President’s address, including Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Yuriy Filatov.
Senator McDowell said, “Due to Russia’s illegal invasion and the human rights abuses committed by the Russian Armed Forces in Mariupol, the Russian Ambassador should not have been invited to this event in the Oireachtas.”
Senator Boyhan added, “As elected politicians, we need to represent the views of the Irish people who have expressed solidarity with Ukraine and think about what message this sends out.”
Senators McDowell, Boyhan and Norris have tabled an amendment to a motion which states “diplomatic representatives of the Russian Federation shall not be present at the joint sitting.”
Senator McDowell continued to say, “this is a very ill-thought-out political decision. We should not be inviting representatives of the Russian Federation to Leinster House at this time. Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war will be in the distinguished visitors' gallery. What does it say about us as a nation if we’re organising an event where they must encounter civilly the Russian Ambassador either at the main event or in the environs of Leinster House?”