President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with Prime Minister of Ireland Micheál Martin, who is on the first visit to Ukraine in the history of Ukrainian-Irish relations.
The Head of State emphasized that this visit is taking place at a difficult time of the war for Ukrainian independence.
According to him, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia into our country, a new page has appeared in the relations between Ukraine and Ireland, and the atmosphere of these relations is warm and substantive.
“Ukraine is grateful to Ireland for its sincere support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, for supporting our European aspirations, as well as our people who were forced to seek shelter from hostilities on Ukrainian soil abroad,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with media representatives following the negotiations with Micheál Martin in Kyiv.
The President reminded that since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Ireland has canceled visas for Ukrainian citizens, and our country will always remember such a principled gesture of solidarity on the part of the Irish people.
“Our Irish friends fully understand the threats posed by this Russian war against Ukraine and against the entire democratic world,” he said.
During the negotiations, the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Ireland discussed joint responses to these threats, in particular the issues of food security, energy and the preparation of a new, seventh sanctions package against the Russian Federation.
“Ukraine appreciates everything that Ireland has already done to make Russia feel the price of its terrorist actions,” the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed Micheál Martin about the situation on the front, especially in the south and east of Ukraine, and about the financial and humanitarian needs of our state.
The Head of State recalled the recent adoption by the Irish Senate of a resolution recognizing the crimes of the Russian occupiers in Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
“We greatly appreciate such a decision and must work together with all the countries of the world that protect the international legal order to bring Russian war criminals to justice,” he said.
The parties agreed to work together for Ukraine to quickly overcome the path from a candidate for EU membership to full membership.
In addition, the interlocutors discussed the need to carry out active reconstruction already now in those territories of Ukraine that were liberated from the occupiers. Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the Irish side for their sincere interest in the project of our country’s recovery after the Russian invasion.
“We discussed in detail that before talking about such a powerful economic project as the reconstruction of the state after the war, we should focus today on the Fast recovery plan, on those details that can help our people return home, so that children can go to schools, universities, so that people have a place to live in Ukraine and have somewhere to return to. Therefore, such quick solutions, quick assistance, quick mobilization of our partners is what we really need,” the President said.
For his part, the Prime Minister of Ireland expressed the support and solidarity of his people with the people of Ukraine.
“Russia’s brutal war against this wonderful democratic country is a major violation of international law. This is a violation of everything Ireland stands for, and we will not put up with it,” Micheál Martin said.
Russia must end its aggression, he emphasized.
The Prime Minister of Ireland said that today he had visited Borodyanka, Irpin and Bucha, where he had seen with his own eyes the terrible consequences of the war. He also spoke with local residents, who told him about the brutality of Russians during the temporary occupation of these settlements, as well as the need for reconstruction.
“The use of terror against the civilian population is a war crime. And those who are responsible for these actions, who gave these instructions, will definitely be held accountable. That is why we have allocated additional funding for the international court to ensure further work on these crimes,” said the Prime Minister.
Micheál Martin praised the work of the President and the Government of Ukraine in preparations for obtaining the status of a candidate for EU membership and expressed readiness to help with his experience on the path of our country to full membership in the European Union.
Also, according to him, Ireland will help in the reconstruction of Ukraine, so that Ukrainians, who are currently forced to seek refuge in European countries, will be able to return home. In the meantime, the country will continue to support those Ukrainians who will come to flee the war.
The Prime Minister of Ireland, among other things, condemned Russia’s actions aimed at creating a food crisis.
“We do not accept at all the situation when food can be used as a tool of war. We will do everything possible to ensure that people are not affected by attempts to turn food into weapons,” he said.
Micheál Martin also expressed confidence in the further development of relations between Ireland and Ukraine and noted that the world is impressed by the power and resilience of our country in the struggle for independence.