The Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko has called on Ireland and the EU to immediately impose sanctions on Russia and not to wait for an invasion.
Ms Gerasko told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that her country is expecting a full scale invasion by Russia as the Kremlin is moving more troops and equipment close to the Ukrainian border.
The ambassador rejected claims by the Russian ambassador to Ireland, Yuriy Filatov that talk of an invasion was “western propaganda”.
Russia spread misinformation, launched cyberattacks and tried to undermine the situation in Ukraine and Europe, she said.
“The Kremlin is very resourceful,” she added.
Russia was ready to attack Ukraine and was attempting to blackmail the country, the rest of Europe and Nato. The planned Russian naval exercises off the coast of Ireland also demonstrated this, Ms Gerasko said.
It was the sovereign right of Ukraine to join any alliance they wished, she said. “It is our sovereign right to determine our future.”
Russia always brought threats to the region and had previously invaded Ukraine in 2013, she explained.
The support of “our partners” was important “at this critical moment” and the threat of invasion by Russia underlined there was no security in Europe if there was no security in Ukraine, Ms Gerasko said.
The ambassador also expressed her gratitude to Ireland for its “unwavering support” for Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity.