Ireland is not "politically or morally neutral in the face of war crimes", Taoiseach tells Zelensky in Dáil 5 months ago

Ireland is not "politically or morally neutral in the face of war crimes", Taoiseach tells Zelensky in Dáil

"We are with Ukraine and I am certain, in the end, Ukraine will prevail."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that while Ireland is a militarily neutral country, it is "not politically or morally neutral" in the face of war crimes.

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The Taoiseach made the comments during a joint sitting of the Oireachtas on Wednesday morning.

This was after Zelensky delivered a powerful address via video link, during which he provided an account of what is happening in Ukraine currently, before praising Ireland for its support of his country since the Russian invasion.

Speaking after, the Taoiseach said Ireland is "resolute" in its solidarity and support for Ukraine.

"We heard grave testimony from you this morning and we've seen ourselves the most shocking and harrowing of images from Bucha, from Irpin, from Mariupol and from across Ukraine," Martin told Zelensky.

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"Russia will have to live with the shame and ignominy of what they have done in Ukraine for generations.

"Those responsible will be held to account.

"We are with Ukraine and I am certain, in the end, Ukraine will prevail."

The Taoiseach then highlighted that Ireland is a militarily neutral country, before adding:

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"However, we are not politically or morally neutral in the face of war crimes - quite the opposite.

"Our position is informed by the principles that drive our foreign policy - support for international human rights, for humanitarian law and for a rules-based international order.

"We are not neutral when Russia disregards all of these principles. We are with Ukraine."

The Taoiseach said Ireland's efforts to support Ukraine are aimed at using "all the levers at our disposal to bring a just end" to the war.

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He stated this involved applying international pressure on Russia, pursuing accountability for violations of international law and meeting the humanitarian needs of those impacted by the invasion.

Martin also confirmed to Zelensky that Ireland is supporting further EU sanctions against Russia.

The Taoiseach said sanctions are needed that will bring home to Putin and his regime that "he will not" and "cannot succeed".

"We want the strongest possible sanctions against the Russian Federation and we'll pursue those," he added.

On top of this, the Taoiseach stated he supports Ukraine's application for EU membership, telling Zelensky: "It is the democratic right of Ukraine and the people of Ukraine to decide your political orientation".

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Martin also took time during his speech to deliver the following words to the thousands of Ukrainians that have arrived in Ireland to escape the war:

"I hope you find in Ireland safe harbour and friendship for as long as you need it.

"Our home is your home."