Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said Ireland will back “stronger measures” against Russian gas exports as EU countries bicker over an energy embargo. However, he insisted it was “a national point of view” and that EU unity was of paramount importance.
The Irish government has made it clear that we support stricter measures regarding exports of gas and other forms of energy from Russia,” Mr Donohoe told reporters after a meeting of the euro-zone’s 19 finance ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.
“We appreciate that there are many different views on this issue across the European Union and we have seen so far that maintaining a unified and coherent stance on sanctions enforcement is a real source of strength.
“And the Taoiseach and other members of the government expressed our support for considering how measures could be strengthened in the future.”
Mr Donohoe said the eurozone’s economic growth would “slow down” in 2022 as a result of the war Ukraine and several rounds of sanctions against Russia.
EU ministers will intensify sanctions talks on Tuesday after reports of massacres of civilians by Russian troops in the town of Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, emerged over the weekend. The EU and Ukraine are investigating whether the incidents constitute war crimes.
Mr Donohoe said the images were “terrible” and the EU was “appalled”. “We are ready to step up sanctions and support for the people of Ukraine,” he said.
On Tuesday, the 27 EU ministers are to discuss further sanctions.
EU economic chief Paolo Gentiloni said the EU must “strengthen our unity and step up our response”. He said EU growth will remain positive in 2022, although the bloc will “cut” its next economic forecast, due to be released on May 16.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/ireland-would-support-stronger-actions-against-russian-gas-but-european-unity-vital-paschal-donohoe-says-41520701.html Ireland would support “greater action” against Russian gas, but European unity is vital, says Paschal Donohoe