Zelensky's comments about Ireland were misinterpreted - Ukrainian Ambassador
"It was a huge scandal for nothing."
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland has said that Volodymyr Zelensky's comments surrounding Ireland's support were misinterpreted.
Larysa Gerasko spoke about the controversy in an interview with the Sunday Times today (3 April).
“President Zelensky is grateful to Ireland for its support and strong stance with regard to Ukraine’s membership [of] the EU and in support of Ukrainian immigrants here,” the Ambassador said.
“Some newspapers and some people [interpreted] his words as an estimation of Ireland’s support for Ukrainian membership of the EU but, no, it’s quite a different thing.
"It was a huge scandal for nothing. I think our president will clarify everything in the Oireachtas,” she added.
Zelensky appeared to criticise Ireland during a video address to the EU Summit in Brussels last week.
During his speech, President Zelensky listed all the countries in the EU, appearing to offer quick-fire thoughts on their overall support of Ukraine, during which Ireland was somewhat dismissed.
"Austria, together with Ukrainians – it is an opportunity for you, I'm sure of it," Zelensky said before adding;
"Ireland – well, almost."
Taoiseach Micheál Martin reportedly defended Zelensky shortly after the address, stating he did not believe Ireland was being singled out as falling short in supporting Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Embassy said that the people of Ukraine are "highly grateful and appreciate" the huge support they have received from Ireland during the crisis.
"We would like to pay special tribute to the people of Ireland for their huge response, generosity, hospitality and willingness to grant protection for the Ukrainians," it said.
"Both President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during their recent communications with Taoiseach Micheál Martin were unequivocal and clear on the overwhelming and practical support that Ireland provides for Ukraine.
"Ireland is literally at the forefront of European countries in this sense."
Zelensky will address both Houses of the Oireachtas this coming Wednesday, 6 April at 10am.