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Micheál Martin says Ireland will give ‘strong support’ to Ukraine’s EU membership bid


Taoiseach Micheal Martin Photo: John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

Taoiseach Micheal Martin Photo: John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

Taoiseach Micheal Martin Photo: John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has given an assurance to the Ukrainian Prime Minister that Ireland will give “strong support” to his country’s EU membership bid.

Mr Martin said he spoke to the Denys Shmyhal this evening and the Ukrainian PM thanked Ireland for its continued assistance.

In a series of tweets posted this evening, the Taoiseach detailed the humanitarian atrocities which Mr Shmyhal said are unfolding in Ukraine.

“Have just spoken to Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal. He thanked Ireland for our solidarity, political, economic and humanitarian support in the face of Russian aggression,” Mr Martin wrote.

“PM Shmyhal said the situation on the ground in Ukraine is extremely difficult and tough, with civilians, including children, being killed in indiscriminate attacks. We agreed that politics and dialogue is the only way to end the violence.

“I told Denys Shmyhal of our strong support for EU enlargement and Ukraine’s application for membership. The PM reiterated the leadership’s determination to stay in Ukraine and uphold the rights of its people,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Shmyhal has also tweeted since the discussion with Micheal Martin.

“Talked to the Irish PM Micheal Martin about Russia war against Ukraine. Grateful to Ireland for constant support and encouragement. Raised the importance of recognition of Ukraine for EU membership,” he wrote.

It comes as earlier today the Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the European Parliament that people are “fighting for survival”, as his country makes an emergency application to join the EU and appeals for the West for help to fight off the Russian invasion.

Currently Ukraine is an associate member of the bloc.

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Mr Zelensky’s plea came as Russia is advancing on Kyiv with a huge convoy of armoured vehicles, tanks and other military equipment spanning more than 60km, according to new satellite images.

As the troops advance, Russia’s defence ministry has warned that it will carry out a number of strikes on security sites in Kyiv, according to state news agency Tass.

Mr Zelensky later said he had asked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to help close the skies over Ukraine to halt the shelling of civilians by Russia.

"Had a phone conversation with Chancellor Scholz. Spoke about Russia's shelling of residential neighbourhoods in Ukrainian cities during peace talks. Emphasized the need to close the sky over Ukraine," Mr Zelensky said.

He also told Scholz to move swiftly on Ukraine's EU membership bid.

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