Micheál Martin: Russia will pay 'high price' for 'indefensible attack' on Ukraine

Simon Coveney said a “strong response” was needed from the international community
Micheál Martin: Russia will pay 'high price' for 'indefensible attack' on Ukraine

A police officer takes a photo of the consequences of Russian shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russian troops have launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine. Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa as world leaders decried the start of an Russian invasion that could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine's democratically elected government. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

LATEST:

This morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin released a statement on the invasion.

He said: "I utterly condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Russia’s indefensible attack on the sovereign people of Ukraine. Our first thoughts are with them.

"We will work with our EU partners and at the UN to hold President Putin and his regime accountable.

"Russia will pay a high price for this outrageous act of aggression. We stand with Ukraine."

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney promised “very direct and very hard-hitting” sanctions against Russia.

“We are not going to go to war with Russia, militarily,” Simon Coveney told RTÉ radio.

“But certainly I think the response in terms of sanctions will be very direct and very hard-hitting, and that means that the EU is also going to suffer as a result of those sanctions because undoubtedly there’ll be counter-sanctions from Russia.” He said two Irish families are currently in Ukraine for surrogacy services and that Irish officials are working with them.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands at his position at the line of separation between Ukraine-held territory and rebel-held territory near Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. U.S. President Joe Biden announced the U.S. was ordering heavy financial sanctions against Russia, declaring that Moscow had flagrantly violated international law in what he called the "beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine." (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands at his position at the line of separation between Ukraine-held territory and rebel-held territory near Svitlodarsk, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. U.S. President Joe Biden announced the U.S. was ordering heavy financial sanctions against Russia, declaring that Moscow had flagrantly violated international law in what he called the "beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine." (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“We have been planning for this for a while. There are contingency plans in place. And we will obviously act in a way that maintains the safety of our people,” he said.

EARLIER:

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has branded the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “murderous act of aggression”.

Mr Coveney said a “strong response” was needed from the international community.

“Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. God help them,” he tweeted.

“Rocket attacks & explosions across the country. Make no mistake: this is a shocking murderous act of aggression against a sovereign peaceful state. EU and world needs to respond strongly.”

Coveney said Ireland’s diplomatic team in Kyiv had moved to a safe place.

A man walks past a writing "Bomb shelter" on the wall in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Ukraine's border guard agency says that the Russian military has attacked the country from neighboring Belarus. The agency said that the Russian troops unleashed artillery barrage as part of an attack backed by Belarus. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
A man walks past a writing "Bomb shelter" on the wall in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Ukraine's border guard agency says that the Russian military has attacked the country from neighboring Belarus. The agency said that the Russian troops unleashed artillery barrage as part of an attack backed by Belarus. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

The Foreign Affairs Minister tweeted: “Our thoughts & prayers are with the innocent people of Ukraine, as families wake up to shocking Russian attacks.

“Russian leaders are lying to their own people to justify this illegal aggression. We utterly condemn Russia for this act of unjustifiable war in the heart of Europe.” 

He added: “Our diplomatic team in Kyiv has moved to a safe place and we stay in close contact with them. We are working with EU colleagues to ensure their safety.” 

In a further tweet, Mr Coveney said: “At the emergency UN Security Council meeting Ireland condemned the decision of Russia to launch a military operation and called on UNSC members to ‘assume their responsibility and to speak out in the strongest possible terms about this act of aggression’.”

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