The Taoiseach chaired a Ministerial meeting on Ukraine to discuss the latest situation regarding Ukraine, and potential implications for Ireland.
It was also attended by the Tánaiste, Minister Ryan, the Minister for Justice, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth, the Minister for Education.
At the outset, Ministers reiterated their full solidarity with the people of Ukraine, condemned the brutal invasion, and called on Russia to withdraw immediately without further needless loss of life and devastation.
The meeting considered a wide range of issues arising from the invasion of Ukraine, including political and diplomatic engagement, economic and social impacts, and humanitarian assistance. Ministers recognised that the situation remains very volatile, with the outcomes and potential impacts very difficult to predict.
The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Justice briefed the meeting on the outcome of their meetings with EU colleagues earlier today.
Ministers agreed on a number of actions:
– A range of possible scenarios will continue to be developed over the coming period, to inform ongoing policy consideration.
– Ireland will continue to work as part of the international community and in particular through the European Union and the United Nations, including as members of the Security Council, to bring maximum pressure to bear on Russia and to support the Ukrainian people.
– Ireland will also continue to impose economic sanctions on Russia as part of the most severe set of sanctions ever imposed by the European Union, and other international partners.
– Noting the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, where over one million people have fled into neighbouring countries and the European Union has agreed to allow Ukrainian refugees to move freely throughout the Union, relevant departments and agencies will work together to prepare for the possibility of significant numbers being offered protection in Ireland, as well as exploring possibilities for assisting humanitarian efforts being undertaken by fellow EU Member States.
– Acknowledging the generosity of the Irish people, many of whom were already offering help, arrangements will be put in place to coordinate offers of practical assistance across the country.
– People wishing to provide support to people in Ukraine, including those crossing into neighbouring countries, are encouraged to make donations to recognised charities in this field. (A list is available at https://www.dochas.ie/whats-new/ukraine-how-you-can-help/
– The economic aspects of the crisis, including sanctions and possible counter measures, will be significant, potentially impacting inflation and critical supply chains, and requiring innovative responses.
– Energy supply and costs are likely to be particularly impacted, and the Government is working with the European Commission and Member States as part of a coordinated response.
– Weekly meetings of Secretaries General of Government Departments will monitor developments and coordinate necessary actions, and provide weekly reports to Government. Further more focused sub-groups may be established to deal with specific issues as required.