We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File image of Russian Ambassador Yuri Filatov PA
yuri filatov

Tánaiste holds Russia responsible for Navalny's death after DFA summons ambassador to 'express outrage'

The DFA summoned Yuri Filatov to ‘reiterate that ultimate responsibility for his death rests with Russian leadership’.


THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has summoned the Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yuri Filatov to “express outrage” at the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said he believes there is “no question” but that the Russian state is behind the death of the 47-year-old Kremlin critic, who was serving a 19-year prison sentence in the Arctic when authorities announced his death last week.

The prison service of the Yamalo-Nenets region, in North-Western Russia, said in a statement that Navalny “felt bad after a walk” and almost immediately lost consciousness.

Navalny died after spending more than three years behind bars, prompting outrage and condemnation from Western leaders and his supporters.

The DFA summoned Filatov yesterday to “reiterate that ultimate responsibility for his death rests with Russian leadership”.

The DFA also called for a “full, independent and transparent investigation”.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin was asked whether he agrees with other international leaders who have blamed the Russian state for Navalny’s death.

“I do. There’s no question about that,” he stated.

“I’m not just referring to the immediate situation at the weekend but rather the progressive, savage treatment of him [during his imprisonment],” the Tánaiste said.

He said that the Russian ambassador was told that Ireland condemns Navalny’s death because it reflects an oppressive regime that “shuts down any form of internal dissent”.

The Tánaiste had said last week said Navalny’s death “underpins the lack of respect for the rule of law and protection of human rights in Russia, and is a reminder of the repressive nature of the regime against its own people”.

Martin also noted that Ireland “had consistently called for Navalny’s unconditional release before his death”.

The British government last week summoned the Russian Embassy, with the British Foreign Office stating that it wanted to “make clear that we hold the Russian authorities fully responsible”.

The Russian embassy in Dublin released a statement this morning following the ambassador’s meeting with DFA Director General Joe Hackett.

The embassy said that an “attempt was made to put the blame for this tragic incident on the Russian authorities, as well as to demand an independent international investigation of the matter”.

It said the ambassador rejected that as an “outright and intolerable interference in the internal affairs of Russia” and insisted that Russian authorities are conducting “proper procedures” to establish the facts of the incident.

“It was emphasized that allegations and accusations put forward by the Irish side – including by the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste over the last few days – are nothing else than politically motivated speculation around Navalny’s demise with a clear intent to exploit it for a sake of attacking and demonizing Russia,” the embassy said, adding it believes Ireland’s position is “unacceptable, inadmissible and, indeed, unconscionable”.