CORK South West Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan has said he’s ‘not too worried’ about having been included on the list of politicians banned from visiting Russia, or Russian-controlled countries.
The deputy was one of 52 politicians named in a list issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry last week, 33 of which are from Fianna Fáil.
Deputy O’Sullivan said he believes his inclusion is based on a number of speeches he made in the Dáil on the illegal invasion of Ukraine and the associated energy crisis.
He would have also expressed similar sentiments on his social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, he told The Southern Star.
But he said was not worried about speculation that the TDs’ phones may need to be checked for hacks or interference, adding that the list was more likely to reflect comments made on social media or in Leinster House, rather than in any phone conversations.
‘I have been outspoken on social media and in the Dáil, but I doubt very much that Putin or ambassador Filatov have personally seen or read them. Some people may see it as a badge of honour, but I think it is childish and petulant,’ he added.
And the wildlife enthusiast said that while he would love to visit Russia at some point in the future, especially given the incredible varieties of wildlife there, he would have no interest going there during Putin’s reign.
‘I hope that his regime comes to an end soon,’ he said, and joked that Russia certainly wasn’t on his destinations for his upcoming honeymoon.
Other local politicians on the list include Cork North West’s Michael Moynihan (FF), Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher (FF), Senator Denis O’Donovan (FF), and Carrigaline-based Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney (FG), along with the Taoiseach and regular West Cork visitor, Micheál Martin (FF).
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard confirmed that he wasn’t included on the list.
But he said he was waiting to see another ‘list’ instead – the one issued after the upcoming cabinet reshuffle!