The Russian embassy in Ireland should be closed entirely following 'aggressive' political moves by Russia and reports of espionage.
That is according to Neale Richmond, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Rathdown, where the embassy is situated.
He told Newstalk Breakfast that he believes that along with a closure of the embassy, the Russian Ambassador should be expelled.
Russia has recently announced sanctions on 52 Irish officials for conducting an "aggressive anti-Russia propaganda campaign".
Those sanctioned include Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaister Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
Sanctions and espionage
"This is just the latest intervention by the Russian Federation in relation to Ireland that merits that closure", Mr Richmond said.
"I've been extremely worried that so far we've expelled four diplomats from the Russian embassy on suspicion of espionage."
"I'd be very concerned that the embassy, which has a staff of 28, is still carrying out very clear acts of misinformation and disinformation in relation to Russia's brutal war in Ukraine."
Mr Richmond said that the Russian ambassador has been "stirring up extremely worrying falsehoods" that are "damaging Ireland's national interest".
Mr Richmond doesn't see a way in which keeping the embassy open would benefit Ireland.
"We've already seen the Russian embassies closed in Lithuania, in Bulgaria, other EU member states."
"It is not in our interest anymore for this embassy to remain open. It's not in the EU's interest."
"And the Russian Ambassador continues to fire off missiles and act aggressively towards our own political leaders of all parties involved."
Main image shows Fine Gael's Neale Richmond speaking to the media at the RDS in Dublin in February 2020. Picture by: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo/Niall Carson