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Russian ambassador criticises ‘flawed’ debate around triple lock for Irish peacekeepers – The Irish Times


The Russian ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov has described the debate over ending the so-called triple lock as “deeply flawed”.

Part of Ireland’s neutrality stance, the triple lock means that a mandate from the United Nations (UN), agreement by the Government and a vote in the Dáil is required for Irish peacekeepers to be deployed abroad on missions of more than 12 personnel.

Government Ministers including Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin and Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney said they were no longer comfortable with the triple lock as a country like Russia, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, could veto Ireland’s future participation in UN missions.

In a statement issued through the embassy, Mr Filatov said Russia had never been an obstacle to Irish participation in UN peacekeeping missions.

“There are 15 members on the UN Security Council and it is their consensus that decides matters,” Mr Filatov said.

“It is so for a reason – any decision on global issues should be well balanced and have wide support of the international community. The council is not supposed to be a ‘comfort zone’, it is a place for debate, hard diplomatic work in search of a compromise.

“That has always been a guiding principle for Russia at the UN. To question it is to go against the truth.”

Mr Filatov said the “new reality” created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the fault of Nato and the EU, not Russia.

He repeated the assertion, which is not shared by the majority of the international community, that the West had been behind the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014.

“The world knows that it was the West that created the odiously anti-Russian, ultranationalist regime in Kyiv, which started a full-scale war against the Russian-speaking people of Donbas in 2014, sabotaged attempts by Russia to achieve political settlement in the eastern Ukraine which was rejected in December of 2021,” Mr Filatov said.

“There is no doubt that it is up to the Irish people and Government to decide what is the best course to follow in the area of the country’s security and defence policy.

“However, it would seem obvious that whatever decisions are made they should be well informed and certainly not based on false assumptions.”

Mr Filatov previously criticised Irish neutrality in its historic context. In a message to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day in January, he claimed that then-taoiseach Éamon de Valera wished Adolf Hitler a happy birthday in April 1945 when “Soviet and Allied soldiers were still dying in the battle against Nazis”.

The envoy said it was “not appropriate in any way for the Irish Government to try teach anyone morality” because of Mr de Valera’s actions. He noted that 27 million Soviet Union citizens died during the second World War “while Ireland enjoyed neutrality”.

Mr Filatov later corrected the record to state that he meant that Mr de Valera had called on the German ambassador to Ireland Eduard Hempel to express his condolences following the death of Hitler.

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