The President of Ukraine and the Taoiseach of Ireland meet in Kyiv

The President of Ukraine and the Taoiseach of Ireland meet in Kyiv

On 19 July 2023, the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, arrived to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, pledge solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and bear witness to the effects of Russian invasion first hand.

The Taoiseach and his team had started their visit to Ukraine by visiting Moshchun, Bucha, and Romanivskyi Bridge in the Kyiv region to meet with communities and hear first-hand the accounts of the death and destruction wrought by Russian forces.

The Taoiseach met with President Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Parliamentary Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk to discuss the current situation and how Ireland can continue to help Ukraine practically and politically.

President Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to all the people of Ireland for sheltering Ukrainians fleeing the war.

“This is a tangible step of moral support for our people. Ireland has sheltered 86 thousand Ukrainians, provided them with housing, finance, access to education and medicine, and this is very important,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a conversation with media representatives following a meeting with Leo Varadkar in Kyiv.

During the negotiations, the Head of State informed the Taoiseach of the recent Russian strikes on Ukraine, particularly in Odesa.

“Last night, Russian missiles were aimed at Ukrainian port infrastructure used for exporting Ukrainian agricultural products. Such attacks by Russian terrorists are not only against our country but also against global stability. And it is extremely important that every country in the world that strives for peace and protection of normal life on all continents clearly and unequivocally condemns Russian terror and participates in joint efforts to overcome aggression. In fact, just as Ireland, in particular, participates in such joint efforts,” the President emphasized.

Leo Varadkar also announced an additional €5 million in humanitarian aid to help with the ongoing emergency response and the attack on the Kakhovka dam and €2 million through the UN system to Ukraine.

In the afternoon, the Head of the Irish government laid wreaths in memory of the children killed in the conflict, in memory of those killed in the Euromaidan protests of 2014, and in the Russian invasion that followed.

[Credit: Office of the President of Ukraine]

During the meeting, the parties also discussed security and political cooperation, joint steps that could strengthen Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression.

“Ireland has already provided us with non-lethal assistance worth more than 170 million euros – thank you very much to Mr. Taoiseach – and has actively engaged in the demining process, which is also one of our priorities today,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.

In addition, the interlocutors focused on the implementation of the Peace Formula. According to the President of Ukraine, Ireland is already helping to implement specific points of the Formula to bring to justice all political and military leaders of the Russian Federation guilty of war crimes against Ukraine.

“Today, I invited Mr. Taoiseach to join our efforts to prepare the Global Peace Summit,” the Head of State said.

The President of Ukraine and the Taoiseach of Ireland discussed the creation of a fair compensation mechanism that would direct the assets of the Russian aggressor to compensate for the damage caused to Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ireland for supporting Ukraine on the path to European integration and emphasized the importance of starting negotiations on Ukraine’s future membership in the European Union this year.

The interlocutors discussed the next, 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia and personal sanctions against representatives of the Rosatom leadership.

The leaders discussed the issues of rebuilding Ukraine, the economic sustainability of our country, and the possibility of Ireland’s patronage of one of the Ukrainian towns.

The negotiations also focused on food security.

“Ireland has supported the Black Sea Grain Initiative and our “Grain from Ukraine” humanitarian initiative, which has really helped the countries in Africa that are most critically dependent on food imports. Together we must do everything possible to ensure that the global food market remains stable despite Russia’s obvious attempts to provoke new crises and use hunger and destabilization as a weapon,” the President emphasized.

For his part, Leo Varadkar assured that Ireland would help Ukraine for as long as it takes and would continue to provide financial, practical, and political assistance.

“Ukraine will win, Ukraine will recover and be rebuilt. We will provide practical and diplomatic assistance to Ukraine to realize its goals and implement the peace plan,” he said.

The Taoiseach expressed confidence that Ukraine’s future lies in the European Union and noted Ukraine’s progress towards European integration.


On Top