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The Independent

An Irish MEP’s views on the war in Ukraine have divided opinion - with some accusing her of 'West-splaining'.

MEP Clare Daly condemned EU sanctions against Russia, claiming they have “unleashed economic devastation” and will be “paid for” by the Russian people, including anti-war protesters.

Speaking in the European Parliament, the Dublin politician said that sanctions won’t stop Russian aggression and that western countries should stop sending arms to Ukraine.

Her remarks, made last week, have reportedly been praised on Russian state TV.

Addressing Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki, Daly said: “History has taught us that sanctions do not end military conflict. They do not bring peace.

“They make the people suffer, not the oligarchs – the people, the people of Russia, the people of Europe, and they’re not going to help save lives because the more arms you pump into Ukraine, the more the war will be prolonged, the more Ukrainians will die, and it might sound radical colleagues, but the answer to war is not more war. It’s peace and peace isn’t delivered by the barrel of a gun. It’s delivered by diplomacy, by dialogue.”

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She added: “We will sit down with Russia, there will be a negotiated peace and this organisation should be promoting it earlier rather than delaying it and making sure that more Ukrainians die. Your feigning of sympathy rings hollow. It makes me sick, to be honest with you.”

News aggregator Visegrád 24 reshared the video along with the message: “This video shows why Eastern Europeans have been so frustrated for years with Western Europeans who just don’t understand what Russia is & how it works.”

Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves remarked: “This is magnificent Westsplaining from a country that has been neutral for 100 years.”

Other social media users questioned her take on the matter.

One said: “As far as I know the Republic of Ireland didn't get its independence through diplomacy”, while another said: “It’s always easy to talk about peace when your country is 3000 miles away from Russia. However ask Polish and Baltics about how [life is] under Russian control. We need a decisive Ukrainian victory for peace.”

But some agreed with Daly. One social media user praised the politician, writing: “Brilliant, we need more and more people like you Clare to speak out for peace. Thank you, ending this war should be what every country's leaders should be fighting for.”

“I stand with Clare Daly. More weapons will never bring peace,” another said.

Last Tuesday Daly and her Irish MEP colleague Mick Wallace had Nazi stickers placed on their offices in Strasbourg.

It followed the Independents 4 Change members being amongst 13 MEPs to vote against the European Parliament resolution, which called for stronger sanctions and argued in favour of the speeding up of Ukraine’s candidacy for EU membership.

Both MEPs have been heavily criticised for voting against the motion, including by the EU’s rapporteur on Ukraine Michael Gahler.

Gahler branded Daly and Wallace as “completely irrelevant” and questioned their motivation.

However, Wallace said they refused to vote in favour of a resolution that called to accelerate provision of military equipment to Ukraine.

“Read what is in it. Some of the stuff in it was horrific. So you couldn’t vote for it. There were 46 votes and we voted for the stuff that was condemning Russia,” Wallace told PA news agency.

“There was five serious ones on Russia and we voted in favour of condemning them on all of them.”

Daly added: “The whole narrative is that if you express an opinion which is different to the official narrative, well then you’re a Putin puppet, you’re a Russian agent, you’re a Chinese hack or whatever.

“But if you do want that is in favour of America or whatever, you’re just you’re one of us, and that is frightening and that’s the direction we’re going.”

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