'Russian-Irish relations need to be normalised'
Ireland's relationship with Russia needs to be normalised if there is to be growth in trade, the Russian Ambassador has said.
There has been a massive drop off in trade between the two countries and Maxim Alexandrovich Peshkov says turning around the trend "seems to be difficult".
He told the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee that in spite of an "unfavourable background" in relations between his country and EU member states, Russia aims "to continue constructive mutually beneficial cooperation with Ireland".
"We are ready for business interaction on all levels including contacts between parliamentarians of both countries," he said.
Vladimir Putin's representative in Ireland quoted figures which show the impact of what he called "anti-Russian sanctions". Russian-Irish bilateral trade decreased 32.5pc last year.