THE Tánaiste said Ireland could not count on that country being rescued by the United States in the event of an attack.
We assume that the British and Americans will come and save us even if we are attacked. And I’m not sure that’s the kind of assumption a sovereign country like ours should be making,” Leo Varadkar told TDs.
He said Ireland should be ready to defend themselves.
“This attack on Ukraine should be a wake-up call for all of us to defend our system and be ready to defend it, because a system worth building is worth defending,” he said he with a view to the democratic society.
“If the European Union was worth building, it’s worth defending, and if our independence was worth securing, it’s worth defending.”
Mr Varadkar told People Before Profit, TD Mick Barry, that he disagreed with a recent report’s recommendation that Ireland should increase defense spending to up to €3 billion a year.
The Indo Daily: War on Ukraine – what role does Ireland play and should we put our neutrality on hold?
“I think that would be too much. There are other priorities and other demands,” he said.
“But I think we need to increase defense spending. We need to pay our military personnel more.
“We need better equipment. We must be able to guard our own seas. We need to be able to have radar over our own airspace. “
Mr Varadkar said the assumption that has been made here for 70 years since the end of World War II “is that nobody would attack us because we are a militarily neutral country”.
But he added: “Ukraine was militarily neutral. She did not belong to any military alliance.
“Ukraine was attacked because politically it belonged to the West, or at least wanted to become one.”
He added: “I think Putin made a big mistake. If anything, it has cemented and strengthened Ukrainian national identity.
Mr. Varadkar paid tribute to Ukrainian bravery and that an entire people wanted to live in a democracy and was ready to fight for it.
The Tanaist added: “I have great admiration for the Russians who are taking part in protests in St. Petersburg, Moscow and other cities and saying that it is not happening on their behalf. It is a very brave person protesting in the streets or in Red Square. And I think we have to acknowledge that and offer them our solidarity and support.”
But he emphasized: “I think we also have to do something that we have done too little of in recent years, namely defend our system a little more.”
“We are fortunate to be part of organizations like the European Union and the United Nations,” he added.
Mr Varadkar said far too many people in the West, including many European governments, have turned a blind eye to President Putin for too long.
“We saw that in the Crimean crisis, and that signaled to him that the West is weak. Around that time he started plotting to try and take the rest of Ukraine, I’d say.
“I think everyone who has spoken out for Putin or apologized for Putin now has questions to answer and there are many of those in Ireland.
“Some in this House and many outside should now be held accountable for their past statements treating the Russian regime gently and apologizing in some way for Putin.
“A fair number of them would describe themselves as part of the socialist left.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/this-should-be-a-wake-up-call-varadkar-says-ireland-cant-assume-britain-or-uk-will-come-and-save-us-in-event-of-attack-41407467.html ‘This should be a wake-up call’ – Varadkar says Ireland cannot assume Britain or Britain will ‘come and save us’ if attacked