Irish Foreign Minister’s visit to Kyiv –

Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveney traveled to Kyiv on Thursday for talks with the Ukrainian government.

Coveney is the first foreign minister from a UN Security Council member state to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February.

During the trip, he visited areas directly affected by the war and held meetings with officials, including his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

Discussions focused on how Ireland can provide additional political, security and humanitarian support. Ukraine’s application for EU candidate status and new EU sanctions against Russia were also discussed.

Speaking at a press conference, Coveney said Ireland would use its position in the UN Security Council to demand both an end to and accountability for the war.

Ireland is seeking a ‘maximalist’ approach to sanctions against Russia, he said, adding: ‘We believe we need to go beyond what has currently been collectively agreed by the EU to include an embargo oil tanker in a sixth sanctions package”.

“We will strongly advocate for your journey to EU membership to proceed as quickly as possible,” he added.

It was also announced during this trip that Ireland will provide €3 million in funding to the International Criminal Court, of which €1 million will go immediately to the prosecutor’s office.

In a statement, Coveney said he had met with the Court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, earlier in the week, adding that “it is essential in all situations where war crimes may have been committed to undertake investigations and ensuring the collection of evidence, including in relation to crimes”. sexual and gender-based violence and to provide support to witnesses, victims and survivors”.

“I discussed this morning with Foreign Minister Kuleba the essential need for accountability for the appalling acts committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he added.

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