The refugee crisis from Ukraine will be “something we haven’t seen since the 1940s,” says Taoiseach

The refugee crisis in Europe due to the war in Ukraine will not be seen on the continent since World War II, said Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

r Martin said Russia’s “morally unacceptable” invasion of Ukraine resulted in the multilateral world order being “turned on its head”.

He made his comments as the Irish Red Cross appealed for more people to offer to those fleeing the invasion, as it emerged that 180 households had so far come forward to take in refugees.

More than a million people fled Ukraine in the first week of Russia’s invasion and thousands lost their lives. The Taoiseach said adjusting to the numbers will be “very, very difficult” but Ireland will “do everything we can”.

“Overall, we are very concerned that the multilateral order has been turned upside down. Given the nature of the Russian attack on Ukraine, this is a very serious moment in European and world history and things are very delicately balanced,” said Mr Martin at the official opening of a new facility in Analog Devices Ireland today in Limerick.

“This is a war situation, this is not normal. In terms of scale and numbers, we may not have had to deal with a situation like this before, so we need to take this step by step.

“As a state we will take the lead as the numbers grow and it will be very, very challenging. This situation could involve one of the largest humanitarian responses from this country we have ever anticipated.

“We really haven’t seen anything like this since the 1940s in terms of such a mass movement of people from a war zone to neighboring countries in such a short period of time.

“This will have an impact and there are no easy fixes. This will be a big challenge for us as a society, but we must strive and do everything we can to ease the pressure on the citizens of Ukraine,” said Mr. Martin.

The Taoiseach called for “cool heads” when it came to the potential threat of nuclear fallout as fighting raged at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant last night. Although there was no damage to any of the six nuclear reactors at the site near the city of Enerhodar, this was a serious moment of danger for the entire continent.

“We need cool heads for that. Russian aggression and the war against Ukraine are morally unacceptable. Of course, it is in everyone’s interest that no radioactive material is spread, and everything is being done to ensure this.

“The universal values ​​of parliamentary democracies: free trade, freedom of association, self-determination. In many ways, all of this is now being attacked by President Putin’s barbaric invasion and war in Ukraine.

“People in this country and across Europe show great empathy for the people of Ukraine and a great desire to help in the best way possible. The government will do this with our European partners with sanctions and keep up the pressure on Russia to withdraw even at this late stage to de-escalate and end this war,” Martin said.

A cabinet subcommittee met on Thursday to discuss areas that will be affected domestically as a result of Ukraine’s ongoing war, with energy, trade, cybersecurity and humanitarian aspects of refugees coming to Ireland high on the agenda to stand.

The price of fuel in Ireland has risen to an all-time high and the Taoiseach said it was likely to be a “medium-term” problem and not a short-term one.

“We know that the energy issue is very urgent and we will work with our EU colleagues and key ministers to develop a sustainable model and approach to deal with this issue. It’s not just this week, it’s something we need to work on over the medium term, how to deal with this exponential increase in fuel prices. It has risen to extraordinary heights.

“The war will have an impact on Ireland on the energy side, we also think the general food problem across Europe is huge given the amount of grain exported between Russia and Ukraine overall.

“Every government department is now working on planning scenarios, possible impacts and how we can respond to them,” the Taoiseach said.

As the EU prepares more sanctions to further hamper Russia’s economy, 460 employees at Aughinish Alumina in Co Limerick, whose parent company Rusal is controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripeska, are on edge. The Taoiseach said the site was of “strategic importance” for the European continent.

The company has so far avoided European sanctions and Mr Martin said any further sanctions must be “strategically smart”.

“There has been a lot of thought about the sanctions, at European level and in cooperation with the US, UK, Canada and others. The goal of the sanctions is to punish Russia, not Europe, and that applies to Aughinish and others, since Aughinish is strategically important to Europe and not only to this area [Limerick]. A lot of its products are used across Europe and elsewhere, so it has a broader strategic meaning, so we have to balance all of that.

“Sanctions are continuously reviewed,” added Mr. Martin.

Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said in Brussels that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would “change the history of this continent”.

The picture looks “very bleak and very grim” in terms of Russia’s intentions, he said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

“There appears to be no willingness to discuss a ceasefire or a withdrawal from the residential areas,” he added, saying the situation is very worrying, he said.

“There’s no point in sugarcoating it. Those in the Kremlin seem intent on further brutalizing their neighbors in a war that I believe will sadly change history on this continent.” He described the ongoing slaughter as “insane”.

From an Irish perspective, the focus is on using all the levers we have as a member of the European Union and as a member of the UN Security Council to influence the mindset of the Russian leadership, he said.

The foreign ministers joined forces with their Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, who specifically asked for air defense assistance.

Mr Coveney said a new package of sanctions was underway and likely to be agreed early next week.

“It’s really about sending a very clear message to the world that we in the European Union are genuinely disgusted and outraged by what we continue to see day in and day out in Ukraine and the actions of Russia, which are clearly in violation of.” represent international law.

“I don’t think there’s a credible argument now that war crimes aren’t being committed on a daily basis. Targeting civilians and the largest nuclear facility in Europe.”

That attack underscored calls for a ceasefire, an end to hostilities and a return to political dialogue and diplomacy, he said.

Ireland has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on the nuclear power plant attack, which has “raised a new red flag in relation to this conflict”.

He explained: “This is not just about Ukraine and Russia. It is about all of us who live on the European continent and could potentially be impacted by an accident or breakage of this facility.”

A rupture could have released radiation many times the volume and magnitude of what happened at Chernoby in 1986, Mr Coveney said.

“I think that added a sense of urgency. But the main problem here is the brutality and the violence and the unnecessary conflict while Russia continues to wage war against its neighbor, who is also our neighbor.

“We repeatedly see the Ukrainian President calling for peace talks, dialogue and a ceasefire to try to protect his own citizens – and these calls are consistently rejected, or at least answered with silence by the Kremlin, which is truly inexplicable. “

Mr Coveney said the television footage of apartment blocks with half the buildings gone and smoldering rubble, along with “unfortunate and dramatic images of charred bodies in the streets,” constituted war crimes.

“And we have one of the most powerful countries in the world responsible for them in the heart of Europe,” he said.

“But unfortunately from the feedback we’re getting regarding what Russia has said, both officially and unofficially, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of that in the coming days and weeks.” The refugee crisis from Ukraine will be “something we haven’t seen since the 1940s,” says Taoiseach

Fry Electronics Team

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