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Taoiseach condemns Russia's recognition of Ukraine breakaway regions

He described today’s announcement as a breach of international law.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Feb 21st 2022, 11:02 PM

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN this evening condemned Russia’s move to recognise the independence of two regions of Ukraine.

In a statement this evening. Martin said: “Tonight’s announcement by President Putin recognising the separatist territories of Ukraine is a violation of international law, and breaches Ukrainian sovereignty.

“With our EU partners, we will stand in solidarity with Ukraine.”

Earlier today, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland backs placing sanctions on Russia. 

“Tonight’s announcement by President Putin recognising the separatist territories of Ukraine is a violation of international law, and breaches Ukrainian sovereignty.With our EU partners, we will stand in solidarity with Ukraine,” he said.

Coveney backed placing additional sanctions on Russia after Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

He said that Ireland gives its full support to “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its right to choose its own foreign and security policy path is unwavering”.

He described the decision by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk as a breach of international law. 

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“[It] is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and marks a clear and unilateral breach of the Minsk agreements.Ireland supports a clear and strong EU response, including additional sanctions measures,” Coveney said. 

The recognition of these regions will effectively put an end to an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict, which has rumbled on since 2014, after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and has left more than 14,000 dead.

Russia could now move in troops to protect hundreds of thousands of residents in the regions who have been granted Russian passports, justifying an intervention as a defence of its citizens.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had convened his own National Security and Defence Council after Putin spoke, and also held calls with Macron and Scholz.

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