Ireland’s UN ambassador urges diplomacy on Ukraine at security council meeting

The Kremlin has said President Vladimir Putin is ordering Russian forces to ‘maintain peace’ in eastern Ukraine.

22 February 2022

Ireland’s representative to the United Nations has called for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis instead of allowing “a grim new chapter” of conflict to eventuate.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason said: “(We) have the responsibility to work to resolve this conflict, rather than yield to a grim new chapter, which will inflict further misery on Ukraine and its people.”

Ms Byrne Nason said those in the room “all need to demonstrate our faith in the value of diplomacy tonight”.

It comes after the Irish government branded Russia’s recognition of two separatist Ukrainian regions as a “blatant violation” of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said Ireland would stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland’s support for Ukraine was “unwavering” and said Dublin would support additional EU sanctions on Russia in response to the move by President Vladimir Putin.

The Ukraine crisis escalated on Monday when Mr Putin announced he would recognise the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ms Byrne Nason said the move was a “flagrant violation of international law”.

She told the late-night meeting of the security council: “This is the second time in less than ten years that the Russian Federation has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is a flagrant violation of international law.

“In taking this unilateral step, Russia has abandoned the Minsk Agreements and cast into doubt all the diplomatic efforts of past weeks.

“Ireland commends Ukraine for the restraint it has shown in the face of Russia’s military build-up at its border and the provocation of the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”

The meeting was led by Russia, which currently holds the rotating chair of the council.

“The next hours and days will be critical,” UN under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs Rosemary Dicarlo told the council.

“The risk of major conflict is real and needs to be prevented at all costs.”

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