Ukrainian MP calls Sabina Higgins' war letter 'underinformed'

A Ukrainian MP has described a letter by Sabina Higgins as 'underinformed' on efforts to end the war.
Ukrainian MP calls Sabina Higgins' war letter 'underinformed'

James Cox

A Ukrainian MP has described a letter by Sabina Higgins as 'underinformed' on efforts to end the war.

Kira Rudik reiterated her view Russia cannot be trusted in talks on the Ukraine conflict.

President Higgins' wife called for the Ukrainian and Russian leaders to agree a ceasefire and hold talks.

Ms Rudik insists it is not possible to trust Russia's intentions.

She told Newstalk: "I would say that it is extremely difficult to read the lines that said 'well, it should be possible for the parties to sit down and talk'.

I do understand that it is extremely easy to comment on the war when you are not inside the war.

"I do understand that it is extremely easy to comment on the war when you are not inside the war, and when it is not your country that is being attacked.

"And as a country that had been in war with Russia for the last eight years, we definitely know that it is not enough for one side to want peace - it needs to be mutual.

"I can tell you, today we have received information about torture of Ukrainian soldiers in Russian captivity, some videos of the torture are online now.

"Can you even imagine that could be forgiven or forgotten?"

Kira Rudik called the letter by Sabina Higgins 'underinformed'.

Ms Rudik added: "I wouldn't call it naive, I would call it underinformed because when you look at the way how Russia behaved for the last eight years - when you look at the last five and a half months - you would understand that there is no way of peaceful negotiations."

In a letter published in The Irish Times, Mrs Higgins warned that the Ukraine war would continue until both countries agreed a ceasefire and entered negotiations.

Responding to an editorial in the paper, Mrs Higgins said she was “disappointed” and “dismayed” that it did not “encourage any ceasefire negotiations that might lead to a positive settlement”.

She wrote: "Until the world persuades President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire and negotiations, the long haul of terrible war will go on. How can there be any winner? The Ukrainian people have suffered tens of thousands of casualties and are now losing up to a thousand soldiers a day, killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Your editorial states that in the war it is estimated that 25,000 to 27,000 Russians have been killed in the fighting.

"This is surely a moment of moral choice. Concerned people of the world anxious to live together in peace and sustainability must demand that this war be brought to an end so that lives are saved, and there is a lessening of the suffering, and the reconstruction of lives and livelihoods can begin."

Mrs Higgins' letter has been widely criticised by politicians and academics.

It briefly appeared on the Áras an Uachtaráin website this week, before being removed on Friday.

Russian ambassador Yury Filatov said he agreed with the points made by Mrs Higgins.

“Under the circumstances [the letter] suggests that everything should be done to end the hostilities as quickly as possible,” he told The Irish Times. “I wouldn’t want to intrude in internal affairs but the point of view, it makes sense. She’s against war. We’re all against war.”

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