MEP Clare Daly is claiming that she and fellow Independent MEP Mick Wallace have been represented unfairly by the “establishment media” for their stance on the war on Ukraine and wider issues in the bloc.
Speaking to The Indo Daily, Ms Daly said she has never been a “Putin puppet” and that she has said from the outset that Russia is to blame for the war.
Ukraine’s secret service recently included the former Dublin TD Ms Daly on a list of 72 public figures who they say “promote narratives consonant with Russian propaganda”.
While, Ms Daly said she has “roundly condemned Russia for starting this war” she also argued that what she calls “the role of the US and NATO” in the conflict “cannot be ignored.”
And she re-affirmed her stance that sanctions are the wrong course of action.
“I’ve been an anti-war activist all of my life but what I have said is that sanctions don’t help and that arming, putting arms into a conflict, doesn’t defend people, it actually prolongs the war; meaning more of them get killed.
"I think sadly I’ve been vindicated in that position, because we’re seeing more arms going in, more sanctions being piled on and the result of that is more and more Ukrainians dying, being displaced. That’s the last thing that I want to see,” she said.
“Some of our positions have been spun mischievously by some political opponents but also deliberately, I think, by sections of the establishment media.
"To spin them into something different, if you like, my opposition to sanctions is somehow ‘oh I’m soft on Russia and I don’t want Russia damaged or anything’, there’s no so such thing.
"I’m opposed to sanctions because they don’t work, because they punish ordinary people. I mean look at the impact of the sanctions, Russia is making more money than it ever did. It cannot spend the money because of the sanctions, but it is sitting on billions and billions and billions.
“We’ve been accused of being Putin puppets and all this but nobody has ever been able to produce a single word anywhere that shows me supporting Putin. He’s a right-wing neoliberal nationalist and I have nothing to do with them now or ever.”
Ms Daly said that she knows there are people who do not support her views, who “won’t” vote for her again and that she has received some “vitriolic” emails recently, but “equally” she said she receives many emails from supporters.
She also denied ever stating the Ukraine should be allowed to joined the EU, but said the idea of fast tracking the country’s membership is a unworkable.
She further argued that there are questions to be answered about “corrupt” practices in Ukraine.
“I’ve absolutely never said that, it’s entirely a matter for the people of Ukraine if they would like to join the European Union or not.
"What we said was that this idea of accelerating Ukrainian membership, it’s not going to happen, it’s a pipe dream, it’s nonsense and everybody knows it,” she said.
“We should be careful on this as well because the European Court of auditors’ own body said it couldn’t account for the billions that have gone into Ukraine because of the level of corruption in that society, and so on, that European taxpayer’s money couldn’t be accounted for properly there.”
Regarding being placed on the Ukrainian security watch list, she described the move as “sinister” and said it was undemocratic.
“Because the hallmark of the democratic society is having the right to have a difference of opinion and that’s how people learn and develop,” she said.
While discussing her political connections with Mick Wallace, MEP Daly said they “have very similar views” and their differing background make “a good combination”.
She argued that the “good work” they do is often not covered by the Irish media and said a “disconnect” exists between people in Europe and the European institutions, which is “magnified in Ireland”.
Sinn Féin has been topping opinion polls for well over a year now and Ms Daly it is a “real sign that people are fed up of the old guard” and that and election should be called.
“[Successive governments have] failed to deal with the key issues facing ordinary people in terms of housing, the health crisis, cost of living and all the rest of it. So, people want change and they deserve and the sooner the better and I think Sinn Féin deserves its chance to be in there and show can it do something different because that’s what people are calling,” she added.