Russia bans Ireland's prime minister, 51 others, from entering country

The ban was the latest in a barrage of largely symbolic moves by Russia against prominent figures from Western countries that have condemned its war in Ukraine.

 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Micheal Martin attend a joint news briefing, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 6, 2022 (photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Micheal Martin attend a joint news briefing, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 6, 2022
(photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Russia said on Wednesday it was banning entry to 52 Irish politicians including Prime Minister Micheal Martin, accusing Dublin of waging "an aggressive anti-Russian propaganda campaign."

The ban - also including deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar, the foreign, justice and finance ministers and a number of parliamentarians - was the latest in a barrage of largely symbolic moves by Russia against prominent figures from Western countries that have condemned its war in Ukraine.

Irish PM: Sanctions are part of Russian propaganda war

the Irish prime minister, who was told of the sanctions while speaking in parliament, said it was a new development and "I don't think I've ever been sanctioned before."

He said the sanctions "were part of a broader propaganda war being waged by Russia" and said that "cool heads are always required in situations like this."

 Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states via a video link in Moscow, Russia October 26, 2022.  (credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXEI BABUSHKIN/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS) Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states via a video link in Moscow, Russia October 26, 2022. (credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXEI BABUSHKIN/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

As a member of the European Union, Ireland has joined sanctions against Russia over its February 24 invasion and the two countries have expelled some of each other's diplomats.

Moscow also demanded an apology in March after a man drove a lorry through the gates of its Dublin embassy to protest against the war.