Ireland Bows to Russia’s Intimidation

World Affairs

If any doubt ever existed that Russia’s newly imposed adoption ban was undertaken not out of genuine concern for the fate of orphans now in the custody of American parents but rather to punish any government that takes a strong line on Russian human rights violators, then recent events in Ireland have just eliminated any such reservations.

On February 27th, Bill Browder, the London-based CEO of Hermitage Capital and the man behind the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which calls for the sanctioning and banning of Russian officials credibly accused of gross human rights abuses, testified before the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Irish Parliament (the Oireachtas). As he’s done in Washington and numerous European capitals before, Browder outlined the facts of how his former attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, uncovered a $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by a Russian organized crime syndicate consisting of Interior Ministry, intelligence, and federal tax officials, who used Hermitage Capital’s corporate documents as cover. Magnitsky himself was then arrested for the crime and tortured to death in pretrial detention; his corpse was found in the Matrosskaya Tishina prison hospital, with his arm handcuffed to a radiator, lying a pool of urine. He is now being tried posthumously in Russia, a legal grotesquerie that not even Stalin had the gall to attempt during the Great Terror. And, unless you’ve not bothered to open a newspaper these past several months, the Magnitsky affair has become the most widely reported human rights scandal in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, as well as the driving force behind the eponymous US law, which Putin yesterday described as “imperial” in design at a four-hour marathon press conference.

Following Browder’s testimony, Irish Senator Jim Walsh, a member of the leading center-right party Fianna Fail, drafted a resolution, modeled on what Britain, Holland, Italy, the Council of Europe, and European Parliament have already done, calling on the Irish government to “publicly list the names, deny visas into Ireland, and freeze any assets found in Ireland” of those Russian officials who “were responsible for the false arrest, torture and death” of Magnitsky, “perpetrated or financially benefited from the crimes” that he “uncovered and exposed, and/or participated in the cover up of those responsible for those crimes.” It further called for the passage of an Irish counterpart legislation to the one the US Congress passed last November, and for EU-wide visa sanctions on those officials named as conspirators or accomplices in the affair. The resolution was co-signed by eight members of the Foreign Affairs committee.

Yet during the subsequent discussion over it, Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Maxim Peshkov, was invited to give his government’s brief. He refused, but instead sent a letter to all members of the Foreign Affairs committee, which leaves little doubt that the Kremlin sees punitive measures against state criminals as simply part of a geopolitical game. Referring throughout to “William Brawder” (sic), who has now been charged in absentia for “tax dodging,” “illegally obtaining” shares in state gas giant Gazprom, and trying to influence the policies of that company to the detriment of Russian national security, Peshkov not only asserted Browder’s guilt but ended on the revealing note that if the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee went ahead with such a resolution, “this approach, certainly, will not enrich bilateral Russian-Irish relations, and can have negative influence on the negotiations on the Adoption Agreement between Russia and Ireland being proceeded.”

The message was clear, and the climb-down swift. The deputy chairman of the committee, Bernard Durkan, who belongs to the rival Fine Gael party, issued an amendment to the resolution, severely weakening it. Now all that was asked of the Irish government was to “liaise with the Russian authorities with a view to seeking reassurance in relation to the compliance with international human rights legislation” and “that any issues arising are fully investigated and a report provided for perusal by the international community.”

Ireland, which is now acting president of the Council of the European Union and thus in an excellent position to help make life unpleasant for Magnitsky’s un-investigated and un-indicted persecutors, is further asked only to “highlight its concern and that of the international community at the issues surrounding” the whistleblower’s apparent murder.

In a subsequent interview with the Irish Times, Durkan more or less conceded that the resolution had been altered to appease the Russians: “One thing we all have to recognize,” he said, “is that we all have to live together.” займы на карту без отказа срочный займ https://zp-pdl.com/apply-for-payday-loan-online.php www.zp-pdl.com hairy girl

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3 Responses to “Ireland Bows to Russia’s Intimidation”

  1. Dawn says:

    I am coming to understand why my Irish lineage left Ireland for the US approximately 200 years ago, and why there are more Irish in the US than there are in Ireland.Americans don’t bow to bullies, but the Irish our ancestors left behind in the homeland do. When the hot Irish tempers left Ireland it lost its fire. When you bow to street thugs such as what runs the Kremlin, you become their slaves and become overrun with their organized crime. I am taking Ireland off of my list of nations I would like to revisit. We have too much Russian organized crime already in the US, & it’s no vacation away from ROC if the vacation spot has more of the same monsters overruning a government.

  2. Dawn says:

    I’m just wondering…
    What if the US arrested a bunch of illegals that had children while stationed in the US giving those children dual US-Russian citizenship, but in the care of our Department of Social Services since they’re minors, and
    What if they just became available for adoption in & from the US? Might that interest the Irish?
    Those illegals’ children are on US soil. We’re under no legal obligation to return them to Russia when their parents are incarcerated. Why would we return them to Russia when it’s not in the children’s best interests & not best for their welfare, & there are so many people outside of Russia that would want to adopt them?

  3. Dawn says:

    P.S. I am aware of 2 very young boys right next door to me that will soon need adopters.

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