Ireland to conduct a security assessment of Russian diplomats

Ireland is to conduct a security assessment of Russian diplomats working in the country.

Britain has won the backing of EU leaders who accepted the only "plausible explanation" for the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, was that Russia was responsible.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed expelling suspected agents from Ireland was a possibility as early as next week.

"What we will now consider in the coming days is to whether we want to take individual action relating to Russian diplomats in Ireland, bearing in mind that what the UK did was to expel 23 diplomats who they believed, were not actually diplomats, were agents.

"So we would have to do a security assessment just like they did before that, we are not going to randomly expel people who are genuine diplomats.

"A security assessment will be done. The minister for Foreign Affairs Tanaiste (Simon Coveney) and I already spoke about this, in the coming days so we will make that decision I would say the early part of next week."

Following Ireland's proposal at a European Council meeting in Brussels, the EU leaders agreed on Thursday with the UK's assessment that it was highly likely the Russian authorities were behind the Salisbury attack.

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