Irish president urged to clarify position on Russian war in Ukraine

Irish president urged to clarify position on Russian war in Ukraine

Ireland's president Michael Higgins is facing calls to "express clearly the strong support" the people of Ireland have for Ukraine after his wife wrote a controversial letter on the conflict.

This week, Sabina Higgins penned a letter to the Irish Times to criticize a previous editorial on the conflict, Sky News reports, according to Ukrinform.

She said that hostilities would rage on until the world persuaded President Vladimir Putin and President Volodymyr Zelensky to "agree to a ceasefire and negotiations."

Critics of the letter have suggested Higgins was drawing “an equivalence” in the actions of Ukraine and Russia, and Irish senators have voiced concern.

Read also: Ireland halts visa-free travel for EU refugees to accept more Ukrainians - media

Senator Malcolm Byrne said the letter was subsequently published on the president of Ireland's official website in a move he described as "appalling."

"Mrs Higgins is entitled to her personal opinion and to express it, although I believe that she is totally wrong to try to see an equivalence in the positions of Ukraine and Russia," said Mr Byrne.

"However, the decision to publish the letter on the President's website raises serious questions.

The letter appears to have been since removed from the website.

Early July, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, during a meeting with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Michal Martin, said Ireland could become one of the leaders in the future process of rebuilding Ukraine.

Earlier it was reported that Ireland has frozen the assets of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities worth EUR 1.72 billion. As reported by The Irish Times, most of the assets in question are bank accounts.

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