Four Russian diplomats told to leave Ireland 'will now have to go', European Affairs Minister Thomas Byrne says.
He was speaking after the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Russian ambassador was summoned and told the four officials were being asked to leave because "their activities have not been in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behaviour".
In response, the Russian embassy in Dublin claimed this was an "arbitrary, groundless decision" that will further deteriorate Irish-Russia relations.
Minister Byrne told Newstalk Breakfast no other information will be given on the expulsions.
"There's no other answer going to be given on that, because it's obviously a security situation.
"No government has ever commented on specifically on the security specifics in these particular situations [sic].
"This has happened before, it's happened now, and the decision is taken and that's really the end of it.
"The Government is entitled to do this and is doing it in accordance with international law".
On the Russian claims, he says: "This is very strong grounds under the Vienna Convention, so this is done under international law.
"It's clearly not done in a rush, it's done after consideration with security services, with the Gardaí, with the Defence Forces and with international colleagues as well.
"That's what's happened, it's now happened - they will now have to go".
'No magic EU money tree'
Minister Byrne says the cost of taking in Ukrainian refugees has been 'forced on us by Russia'.
He was speaking after it was revealed it will cost up to €500m to care for every 10,000 Ukrainians that arrive in Ireland after fleeing the Russian invasion.
Mr Byrne says he believes Ireland is in a better position than other countries.
"We're going to have to do it - this is a decision that we've taken, to let anyone in that wants to come in from Ukraine.
"But we've also got to to compare ourselves with Poland, for example: Poland is not as wealthy a country as Ireland is.
"They've over two million there; Moldova is an extremely poor country, not in the EU, has hundreds of thousands of people there.
"My impression is that Ukrainians don't want to leave forever, they want to go back.
"That's why this particular measure is a temporary measure - it's known as a Temporary Protection Directive."
And he says while there will be EU-wide discussions about sharing the burden, "quite frankly the burden that we have is much less than the financial burden that the other countries have.
"It may be taken at European level, and probably will be, but that ultimately means we all pay into it.
"There's no magic money tree in the middle of the European Union, we will have to pay for this.
"That cost has been forced on us by Russia".