Five Irish MEPs sign motion calling for all EU ports to close to Russian vessels

Motion addressed to Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel signed by 207 MEPs

Five Irish MEPs have signed a motion calling for all European Union ports to be closed to Russian vessels.

The MEPs – Seán Kelly, Frances Fitzgerald, Deirdre Clune, Maria Walsh and Colm Markey – are all members of Fine Gael.

They were among 207 MEPs who signed the motion which was addressed to the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel.

The MEPs also want an embargo on Russian energy imports, exclusion of all Russian banks from SWIFT and the sanctioning of individuals as named by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

A Russian vessel which ships material to and from the Aughinish Alumnia plant in Limerick arrived into Foynes port on Wednesday morning.

The plant is partially owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska who has been sanctioned by the UK and is under threat of sanction by the EU.

The Pola Feodosia arrived into Foynes at 7.28am on Wednesday morning having left Kaliningrad in Russia on March 26th.

It is owned by the Russian State Transport Leasing Company.

The vessel made a previous attempt on March 2nd to berth at Foynes to take on board a shipment from the plant.

A cargo vessel, the Pola Varvara, sailing under the Russian flag arrived in Dublin Port on Tuesday morning.

It is registered to the Russian government-owned State Transport Leasing Company. It has since left Dublin to return to Russia.

In advance of the address to the Dáil by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the country's ambassador to Ireland Gerasko Larysa called on Ireland to ban Russian vessels from Irish ports.

Such a sanction was necessary, she suggested, to stop a Russian government “that tortures and kills innocent children and civilians what the world has recently witnessed in the town of Bucha”.

"Jointly we must protect the lives and freedom of Ukraine and Ukrainians, as well as guarantee the security of Europe, " she said.

She urged the EU to go further and impose sanctions on Russia which include the closure of all member states ports to Russian shipping.

She said: “Thus, Russia must be deprived of all resources. First of all, financial and economic ones. The European Union must finally adopt a principled decision and close ports to Russian ships, to stop the transit of goods and any economic activity with Russia.”

The ambassador said the EU sanctions placed on Russia to date “are not enough”.