Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Ireland to persuade the EU to impose more sanctions on Russia.
In a landmark address to the Dáil, Mr Zelensky thanked Ireland for supporting sanctions against Russia and for providing humanitarian assistance to refugees.
“Thank you for supporting the sanctions against Russia.
“Thank you for the humanitarian and financial assistance given to a country and thank you for caring for the Ukrainian people who have taken refuge in your country,” he said via a video link broadcast in the Dáil chamber became.
He also thanked Ireland for supporting Ukraine’s application to join the European Union.
“It will be even faster and more beneficial for both nations and we need to start thinking about the recovery of our country after the war.
“We invite leading countries of the world to take part in the reconstruction and restoration of Ukraine. Of course, Ireland is always welcome to do so,” he said.
He said he wants the government to “convince EU partners to introduce tougher sanctions against Russia that would really ensure the Russian war machine stops.”
“We must end trade with Russia. We must cut Russian banks’ ties to the global system, cut their revenue streams from the oil they use for weapons and killing,” he added.
He criticized what he called the “principled approach” of some politicians and business leaders who “still think that war and war crimes are not as terrible as financial losses”.
He said he was sure Europe could stop this war. He said the longer the war lasts, the worse the consequences will be for both Ukrainians and other European citizens.
The President said Ukraine and Ireland together could do much more than Russia, which wants to destroy its country.
Mr Zelensky detailed how Russian attacks have resulted in the deaths of at least 167 children and said that number could rise as the impact of the attack in Mariupol was not yet known.
He said 927 educational institutions were damaged by the attacks, while 258 hospitals were damaged and 78 ambulances were also attacked.
He also said Russia is trying to starve its people by targeting food stocks and import routes.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the strength of Mr Zelenksy and Ukrainian citizens in restoring their country to a “free, secure, democratic and independent country” was both “humbling and uplifting”.
Mr Martin said Russia will have to live with the “shame of what they have done in Ukraine for generations” and said those responsible for the atrocities would be held accountable.
“We are a militarily neutral country. However, we are not politically neutral in the face of war crimes. Quite the opposite,” he said.
“Our position is based on the principles of our foreign policy – support for international human rights, international humanitarian law and a rules-based international order. We are not neutral when Russia disregards all these principles. We are with Ukraine,” he added.
The Taoiseach said Ireland supports the “strongest possible sanctions” against Russia and will push for them to be imposed within the EU.
He said he “welcomes and supports” Ukraine’s application for EU membership. “I welcome it again to this House this morning. It is the democratic right of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people to decide their political direction. They have decided to apply for EU membership,” he added.
https://www.independent.ie/news/ukraine-president-volodymyr-zelensky-calls-on-ireland-to-convince-the-eu-to-impose-more-sanctions-on-russia-41525963.html Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging Ireland to persuade the EU to impose more sanctions on Russia