Russian oligarchs with Irish links on US watch list
Russian oligarchs with substantial investments in Ireland have been placed on a watch list by the US, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
Eugene Kaspersky was named as one of 96 oligarchs on a US Treasury list supplied to Congress in January. The billionaire opened a European hub of his cyber-security firm in Dublin two years ago. He has denied any political ties to the Kremlin.
The ore and metals magnate, Oleg Deripaska, who owns the Aughinish Alumina plant in Shannon, one of Ireland's largest manufacturing sites and the largest plant producing aluminium in Europe, is also on the list.
Meanwhile, Ireland was on the brink of a diplomatic war with Russia last night. The Government is expected to expel a number of Russian diplomats in response to intelligence reports from Garda HQ and the Defence Forces that raise concerns over suspected spying activities here.
Russia will likely retaliate with the expulsion of an equivalent number of Irish diplomats, informed sources said. Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney was studying an Irish briefing document last night and is expected to brief the Taoiseach today.